Urban Gondola Systems
Urban Gondola Systems

Resort Gondola, Cable Car and Funicular Projects: Planning, Feasibility Studies, Design and Engineering

PROJECT REFERENCES: Recreation and Attraction

Tasmania Office of Coordinator General; Hobart, Australia, (2019 - 2021) Cradle Mountain National Park Aerial Cableway”: Specialist consultant for Technical Design and Feasibility Study of a 8.0 km transportation aerial cableway in Australian wilderness area to connect Visitors Center transport hub to the Dove Lake and Tasmanian Wilderness UNESCO World Heritage Site. This environmentally sensitive National Park portal is currently accessed by cars and tourist buses; it is the intent of the National Park to reduce the operational carbon footprint within the Park by providing a ten passenger aerial gondola transportation system for visitors and employees to replace the shuttle bus system. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length 7.9 km / 3 - 5 stations.

La Marquesa Forest Park; Guayanbo, Puerto Rico (2016) “Rainforest Gondola” – Chief Consultant working with the Deya Group to develop the project’s maintenance program and budgets, as well as the tramway evacuation plan over the rainforest and sensitive environmental areas, such as the aviary and interpretative center within the Park. The rainforest cableway system is a fixed grip “pulsed gondola” with six groups of 3 x eight passenger cabins circulating between the Visitors entrance station and the Aviary and Interpretative Center Station. Canopy tours are included in the Park admission price. Project partners: Deya Group, Doppelmayr. Length 1.1 km with 2 stations.

Holland-America Cruise Lines, Anchorage, AK, (2019) Denali National Park Aerial Cableway”: Contract for technical feasibility study for transportation gondola originating at McKinley Village and crossing over the Talkeetna River to connect the Holland America Resort and Princess Hotel to the Denali Visitors Center and Airport. Access to the Park entrance is provided by shuttle buses; client wants to provide a better environmental solution to reduce carbon footprint with a “green” cableway connector. Provided the client and stakeholders with technical analyses of cableway technologies, alignment options, system specifications and cost estimates. Eco-Transit is prime consultant. Length 1.5 km / 3 stations

El Conquistador Resort; Fajardo, Puerto Rico, (2019 - 2020) "Las Brisas / Las Marinas Funicular Construction": Project management and technical certification for the installation of two side-by-side 30 passenger teleferico funiculars for guest transport to connect the three levels of the 1,000 room El Conquistador Resort and Conference Center. The resort sits on a 100 meter hillside overlooking the Caribbean and guests use the system to access the mid-level cabanas and lower levels marina, shops and water park. The teleferico funicular will eliminate the need for the existing fleet of shuttle buses. Project Partners: Deya Group, Doppelmayr Lifts, Frey AG, and Garaventa AG. System lengths of 0.2 mile with 6 stations.

Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife; El Paso, TX, (2019) "Wyler Aerial Tramway":  Contract with Crown Castle and HC Jeffries on behalf of Texas Dept of Parks and Wildlife for the feasibility analysis, engineering study and inspection of a reversible aerial tramway operated by the State of Texas for the public for 50 years and now going into private operation to provide maintenance access to a cluster of tv and radio broadcast towers on Ranger Peak just outside of El Paso, TX. Services to client include review of certifications and drawings, engineering calculations, capital and O&M cost estimates, and rebuild or replace system evaluation. EcoTransit is prime consultant. Length of 0.5 mile with 2 stations.

Ghost Town Adventure Park; Asheville, NC, (2012 - 2018), Funicular Design / Chairlift Construction: Consulting contract for the design, engineering, manufacturing, project management, construction and certification for the re-engineering and rebuilding of a 50 year old Carlevaro-Savio chairlift at 1,200 pph, and a 50 year old dual incline funicular system with four 40 passenger vehicles at 600 pph. The chairlift and funicular link the Park’s remote parking lots and public transit to the mountain top Theme Park and attractions. Successfully re-engineered and rebuilt the chairlift people mover. Project Partners: Partek Skilifts, RPE Services, Clark and Leatherwood. Lengths 3 x 0.8 mile / 6 stations.

Autoridad de la Region Interoceanica (ARI); Panama City, Panama; "Cerro Ancon Teleferico” (2001): After the turnover of the Canal from America to Panama in 1999, the Regional Canal Authority (ARI) contracted with personnel of Eco-Transit to perform a Technical Feasibility Study for the construction of an aerial ten passenger gondola-style Teleferico to connect the proposed Amador western cruise ship port to the former U.S. military headquarters on Cerro Ancon and develop an historical and ecological park for future tourism development. Services provided: land survey, mapping, specifications, cost analysis, preliminary drawings. EcoTransit was prime consultant. Length of 2.9 km with 3 stations. 

Mt. Roberts Tramway, Juneau, AK, “Goldbelt Aerial Tramway Construction”: Feasibility study, project management and document controls for construction of 75 passenger aerial tram to transport cruise ship passengers from the City Docks, through the State Forest, to mountain-top facilities. Preparation of lift specs and RFP documents, coordination of agency permits, contract documents, manufacturer and regulatory liaison. Reviewed and approved drawings for conformance to contract terms and regulatory requirements. Inspections of the installation and monitoring of commissioning, load test and certification by the lift manufacturer and State of Alaska. Project partner: Poma of America. Length of 1.0 km with 2 stations.

San Juan Economic Development Authority; San Juan, Puerto Rico, (2016) “Desde del Aire Teleferico”: Contract in partnership with Deya Industrial Group for technical and economic feasibility studies, design engineering, project drawings, line calculations, profiles, tower and terminal locations, specifications and RFP preparation for a proposed transit cable car to connect Bahia Urbana to the San Juan National World Heritage Site, with mid-station at the cruise ship docks. The waterfront project in conjunction with the San Juan Port Authority, US Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers and US National Parks. Project partners: Deya Group, Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma. Length of 1.8 km with 3 stations.

Sinclair Broadcast Group; Asheville, NC, (2019) “Mt. Pisgah Funicular: Engineering drawing package for custom drive and braking components, and the procurement of electric motors and gearboxes for the turnkey engineering and installation of a cable propelled, dual guideway, industrial incline funicular to provide maintenance and personnel access to the Mt. Pisgah broadcast facility and the 100 meter broadcast tower in the Appalachian Mountains. System was operating without a permit and NCDOL engaged Stevens Engineering to bring the funicular back into compliance with Eco-Transit drawings and incline equipment. Project partner: Stevens Engineering. Length of 1.0 mile with 2 stations.

Municipio de Puerto Vallarta; Jalisco, Mexico, “Parque de Agua Azul Teleferico”:  Feasibility study commissioned by City government for planning and  construction of an aerial cable transit Teleferico from the PV City Malecon area to the proposed Bluewater Ecological Park to be developed by the Municipality for ecological tourism, research and conservation. Study services included technology analysis, literature review, site reconnaissance, alignment alternatives analysis, station and tower locations, performance specifications, capital and operations cost estimates, conclusions and recommendations. Project partner: Estudio 314 Architecture. Length of 4.1 km with 3 stations.

Municipio de Aguadilla; Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, “Sports Complex Teleferico”:  Preliminary design and feasibility study requested by the Municipality and performed with the Deya Group for route alignments, ACT teleferico system types and selection, routes’ analyses, specifications and cost estimates for an aerial cableway to connect a newly developed sports stadium and waterpark complex to the downtown business core, with an ocean-crossing extension, with tall towers above the harbor, to provide access to the regional beach park on the west side of Aquadilla. Study is on hold awaiting funding authorization. Project partner: Deya Engineering Group. Length of 4.5 km with 4 stations.

Zoologico de Vallarta; Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, “Rainforest Teleferico”:  Contract with the Puerto Vallarta Municipal Zoo for the technical and economic  design and feasibility study, including system evaluation, route analysis, performance specifications, cost estimates, profiles and drawings for a rainforest aerial gondola Teleferico attraction planned to increase visitors to the Zoo by connecting the Park and animal exhibits to a mountain-top restaurant, nature center and observation tower. Project involved designing special tall towers to cross river and avoid ecologically sensitive areas on the Park boundary. Eco-Transit was prime consultant. Length of 2.3 km with 3 stations.

Aspen Ski Resort; Aspen, CO (2017) Aspen to Snowmass Village Ropeway – Preliminary proposal and mountain transportation plan consulting to analyze lift technologies and assist in laying out alternative routes between the four Aspen ski mountains, utilizing both 3S gondola technology and a prototype CableSmart gondola technology to allow for an on-call network of autonomous self-propelled gondola cabins utilizing both aerial cable guideways on the mountains and steel structure rail guideways in the resort villages. Analysis of ski area and village transportation distribution systems. Project partner: Dimensione Inginierie, Italy. Length 8.8 km with multiple stations.

Jay Peak Resort, Jay, VT, “Green Mountain Ropeways”: Design, engineering and installation of one of North America’s first Leitner manufactured detachable quad chairlifts, at a capacity of 2,800 pph, with automatic chair storage and maintenance facility. Additionally, turnkey rebuilding, re-engineering and re-certification of existing 120 passenger Von Roll reversible aerial tramway with new Sigma cabins, hangers, carriages, track cables and haul cables. Analysis of skier flows, ski trail layout / base facilities to balance mountain distribution requirements for added lift capacity. Supervision of the lifts’ commissioning, load tests and certification. Project Partner: Leitner Lifts USA. Lengths 2.2 km and 3.0 km with 4 stations.

Powder Mountain Resort, Eden, UT, Resort Master Plan: Consulting contract with new ownership group for master planning of public land and rezoned private holdings on the mountain trail network to provide for ski in - ski out residential and commercial development. Redesigned activity centers to maximize the available private land for ski access and proximity to golf and other summer activities. Analyzed ski trail and lift alignments with proposed real estate and amenity development and designed layout of the proposed access gondola from remote parking and designed 3 new detachable chairlifts for a cohesive ski resort experience. Project Partner: Mountain Chief Development. Multiple lengths / multiple stations

Angel Fire Resort, NM, “Southwest Quad Detachable”: Planning, engineering, turnkey construction and certification of the Southwest Flyer detachable quad chairlift to open new terrain on the backside of mountain. Site reconnaissance provided to determine optimal alignment / terminal locations, prepared lift profile, developed specifications / engineered equipment for site specific application and supervised equipment procurement. Excavation, foundations, and erection construction were fast tracked with critical equipment airlifted from Europe to make load test deadline for client. Foundations were started in July with load test in 4 months from start to finish. Project partner: Leitner Lifts USA. Length 1.2 mile / 2 stations.

University of New Mexico; Albuquerque, NM, “Enchanted Skies Park Cableway”: Technical and economic feasibility study, line profiles and ridership projections for the University's Department of Astrophysical Science to determine route alternatives, environmental restrictions, specifications and cost estimates for a ten passenger aerial gondola system to access the proposed mesa-top advanced telescopic observatory, interpretive center and Dark Skies Park on Grants Mesa. Project would represent an extension of the Albuquerque municipal parks system. Project remotely located in Grants, NM; Project partner: Poma of America. Lengths of 1.3 to 2.2 km with 2 to 3 stations.

Lake Louise Resort; Banff, Canada, “Chondola Retrofit Project”:  Technical study, engineering design, project management and certification for the conversion of a high speed detachable quad chairlift to a combination chairlift and gondola system (Chondola). Replacement of chairs and associated electro-mechanical equipment with re-designed gondola cabins and associated acceleration / deceleration mechanisms. Redesign of platforms to accommodate different chair and gondola boarding heights. Supervision of the commissioning and acceptance tests to put the redesigned gondola into public operation. Project partner: Doman Engineering. Length of 2.8 km with 2 stations.

City of Niagara Falls; Canada, “Crosslink Bridge Aerial Gondola”:  Contract for two technical and design feasibility studies for the City and developer group of the "Crosslink Bridge" mixed-use and entertainment development project to 1) provide an aerial connection between the Amtrak railroad station, downtown main street, Falls View water park Hotel and the historic redesigned, mixed use RR bridge connecting USA to Canada and, 2) a transportation gondola system to connect the Amtrak station to the Niagara Falls State Park observation area and attractions’ complex on the Canadian side of the Falls. Project partner: Crosslink Development. 1.8 km to 4.0 km with 4 to 6 stations.

Chugach Mountain Resort; Valdez, Alaska, “East Mountain Gondola and Master Plan”: Primary planning and engineering consultant for the CMRC master plan and detachables / gondolas for Town of Valdez Economic Development Dept for proposed East Mountain ski area. Site evaluation by helicopter to map ski trail terrain and summer hiking / biking routes. Prepared permitting, land use plans, watersheds, terrain and slope gradients, historical snowfall, avalanche risk and control, backcountry evacuation, wind and solar exposures, ski trail siting, skier densities and flow, gondola station locations, and lift alignments and specifications. Eco-Transit prime consultant for master plan and lift development.

Cornucopia Mountain Resort; Halfway, OR (2018), "Lodge Backcountry Chondola”: Consulting contract with permit holder and lodge operator for the planning and design of an aerial cableway (alternatives of chairlift, gondola, or  chondola) to link the currently summer only Cornucopia Lodge to proposed winter backcountry skiing / snowmobiling, and summer hiking, biking and mountaineering. Services included site reconnaissance, lift technology analysis, alternative route mapping layouts, capital cost estimates and lift performance specifications for RFP preparation. The Lodge location receives up to 500 inches of snow each season. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length 0.7 mile with 2 stations.

Forever Wild Resort, Eagle, CO, (2017), Resort Master Plan: Planning team member for proposed four season resort including the design and mapping of ski trails, ski lifts, snowmaking, mountain bike trails and skier and summer visitor facilities as amenities for this residential and tourism community south of Vail and Beaver Creek. Eco-Transit coordinated the overall Land Use Plan to integrate the winter recreation ski lift amenities and facilities into the residential master plan and created renderings for inclusion into business plan and public hearings. Design development of major dual-purpose gondola for ski lift and tourism attraction. Project partners: Doppelmayr, HRA Advisors. Length 2.0 miles / 3 stations.

Falls Creek Resort, Steamboat, CO, “Steamboat Gondola Connector”: Overall development plan and prepared detailed gondola and chondola alternatives’ electro-mechanical plan and technical study with specifications, lift profile, tower locations, drive power required, cost estimates and project schedules for a 2,000 pph transportation gondola as a portal to link this proposed mixed-use project to the Steamboat ski trail network and mid-mountain lodges. Developed transit-oriented development plan for the gondola base terminal and restaurant / clubhouse layout and site plan for the top terminal to integrate with the Steamboat master mountain plan. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length 0.8 mile / 2 stations.

Ghost Town Adventure Park; Asheville, NC, (2012 - 2018), Chairlift / Funicular Construction: Consulting contract for the design, engineering, manufacturing, project management, construction and certification for the re-engineering and rebuilding of a 50 year old Carlevaro-Savio aerial cableway chairlift at 1,200 pph, and a 50 year old dual incline funicular system with four 40 passenger vehicles at 600 pph. The chairlift and funicular link the Park’s remote parking lots and public transit to the mountain top Theme Park and attractions. Successfully re-engineered and rebuilt the chairlift people mover. Project Partners: Partek Skilifts, RPE Services, Clark and Leatherwood. Lengths 3 x 0.8 mile / 6 stations.

Sandestin Resort, Fort Walton, FL: “Baytowne Wharf Ropeway”: Urban planning consultant for guest transportation network and residential and commercial development projects for the second expansion phase of Sandestin Resort. Coordinated engineering, architectural and construction teams under contract for Intrawest Corp for condo, hotel, restaurant and marina development projects. Attended community stakeholder meetings and secured project permits, development orders and occupancy certificates from Walton County. In charge of planning and proposing an innovative guest transportation network to move guests between properties. Project partner: Intrawest Placemaking. Lengths 1 to 3 miles.

Mount Shasta Resort, Redding, California, "Chairlift Construction": Turnkey contract with the permit holder group for the permitting review, project management, construction, commissioning and certification of one surface lift and two detachable chairlifts as phase 1 of the new ski resort development plan. Supervised the design engineering, procurement of lift components, transportation, staging and subcontracting for the multi-lift effort. The project installation was extremely environmentally sensitive as the resort was directly adjacent to the Mount Shasta Wilderness Area and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Civil works and steel was by heavy-lift helicopter. Project partner: Poma America. Lengths 0.7 to 1.1 mi / 4 stations.

Granby Ranch Resort, Granby, CO, “Chairlift Construction”: Turnkey contract for the permitting, engineering, manufacturing, supply, project management, construction, and certification of a Leitner high speed, detachable quad chairlift at 2,800 pphpd capacity and also a fixed grip triple chairlift at1,800 pph capacity for the new Brazillian ownership group of the ski area and golf course. The two new ski lifts enabled the expansion plan to be realized under the USFS permit issued the previous year. The two lift manufacturing and construction was accomplished in 9 months with certification by the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board. Project Partner: Leitner Lifts USA. Lengths 1.5 km and 1.3 km with 4 stations.

INTERNATIONAL CABLEWAY REFERENCES: 

 

Autoridad del Canal de Panama; Panama City, Panama, “Cerro Ancon Teleferico”: After the turnover of the Canal from America to Panama in 1999, the Canal Authority contracted with personnel of Eco-Transit to perform a technical feasibility study for the construction of an aerial ten passenger gondola-style Teleferico to connect the proposed Amador western cruise ship port to the former U.S. military headquarters on Cerro Ancon and develop a historical and ecological park for future tourism development. Services provided: land survey, mapping, specifications, cost analysis, preliminary drawings. EcoTransit was prime consultant. Length of 2.9 km with 3 stations.

 

Office of Coordinator General; Tasmania, Australia - (2019) "Cradle Mountain National Park" - Technical and Economic feasibility study for a high speed aerial gondola system to serve the dual purpose of an access transportation system and tourism attraction to access Dove Lake and this designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. High sensitivity environmental considerations for station and tower placements, and low profile versus high profile line. This proposed cable car will greatly reduce the carbon footprint created by the existing shuttle bus service into the National Park. Study partner - PB Associates, System length 8.0 km / 3 to 5 stations.

 

Municipal de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2019) - Consultant and member of teams to design and offer for Linea 1 and Linea 2 of the municapal telefericos to connect neighborhoods to the Western subway extension. Analyzed 1S and 3S teleferico technology and designed the profiles, stations, towers and cabins to be able to develop specifications and capital costs and operation and maintenance budgets; Proposal partners - Super Canal Group, Estrella Construction, Integra Architects, Deya Group and Bartholet Lifts; Lengths 5.0 km and 12.1 km with 4 and eight stations.

 

Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff, Canada - Project management for the conversion of a high speed detachable chairlift to a gondola system. Replacement of all chairs and associated electro-mechanical equipment with re-designed gondola cabins and associated acceleration / deceleration mechanisms. Supervision of the commissioning and acceptance test procedures to put the gondola into public operation. Length 1.6 miles / 2 stations.

 

Crosslink Development, Niagara, Canada – Contract for feasibility study for developer of the "Crosslink Bridge" mixed-use and entertainment development project to link the Amtrak railroad station, downtown main street, water park hotel, and Niagara Falls State Park to the National Park and attractions on the Canada side; 0.9 to 2.8 mi / 4 stations.

 

Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico - "Baranca Canyon" - Technical feasibility study for the Municipality and the University to analyze a Teleferico gondola system to cross over a river and canyon to access undeveloped land to expand the main University campus and develop a new east-side campus; length 3.5 km / 3 stations.

 

Municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico – “Desde de Aire”,”Luis Marin”, “Moisty” – Consulting services for Deya Corp. for three feasibility studies to re-engineer / rebuild a CTEC chairlift  and Doppelmayr gondola in municipal parks; also developed specifications and RFP for a proposed 10 passenger Teleferico in San Juan; 0.6 to 1 mi / multiple stations.

 

Municipality of Aguadilla; Puerto Rico - Study contract for route alignments, ACT system types and selection, specifications and cost estimates for an aerial cableway to connect a newly developed sports stadium and waterpark complex to the downtown business core, with an ocean crossing extension above the harbor to provide access to the regional beach park; 2.8 miles with 4 stations.

 

Noboribetsu Resort, Hokkaido, Japan - Preliminary master plan for hot springs retreat hotels and resort area featuring a nearby Bear Park; worked with area hotel association to connect several hot spring hotel properties with the Bear Park and parking facilities with an aerial gondola transportation system; site analysis, route alternatives and cost estimates. Study partner - SBW Development; lengths 3.2 to 5.3 km / multiple stations.

 

Municipal de Zapopan, Mexico – “Primavera” project - Sub-contract with Estudio 314 Architecture for inspection of alternative routes and equipment specifications for a transportation Teleferico to link the Zapopan downtown commercial district with the sports stadium and new public recreation areas; 2.8 mi / 4 stations.

 

Municipal de Puerto Vallarta – Mexico - “Parque de Agua Azul” – Feasibility study commissioned by City government for construction of an aerial cable transit Teleferico from the City Malecon to the proposed Bluewater Ecological Park to be developed by the Municipality for tourism, research and conservation; 2.5 mi / 3 stations.

 

Zoologico de Vallarta; PV, Mexico – “Rainforest Tram” – Contract with the P. V. Municipal Zoo for an engineering design study with profiles / drawings for a rainforest aerial Teleferico attraction to increase visitors to the Zoo by connecting the Park to a mountain-top restaurant and nature center; 0.5 mi / 3 stations.

 

Golder Geotechnical; Malawi, Africa – “Chambre Basin” project – Subcontract with Golder Corp for technical and environmental study for replacement of a logging tram with a new industrial aerial cableway to haul rare earth elements ore from mining operation to the trucking terminus. Services: mapping, design, environmental survey,specifications, drawings, cost estimates. Route – 3.6 km length with 3 stations.

 

ENEL Power Corp; Aviolo, Italy – “Teleferica Aviolo” project – Contract for re-engineering and re-certification of major modifications to jig-back industrial cableway with one carrier at 5 tons payload and one carrier at 10 tons payload; tramway moves equipment for the construction of the Edolo hydroelectric dam. Services: review of drawings, new drawing package, engineering, project management, certification. Route - 1.5 km with 2 stations.

 

Savona-Cairo Corp; Savona, Italy - Engineering contract for the modification and re-certification of a detachable grip industrial cableway with capacity of 1,800 Tons of ore, connecting the mine with the harbor and storage facilities. Services: modification drawings, permits, project management, procurement supervision, commissioning and certification. Route - 17.3 km with 10 stations.

 

SBW Development Corporation; Seoul, Korea  “Muju Resort” – Represented the owner for the design engineering and construction of 16 quad chairlifts and an eight passenger gondola in Tokusan National Park over a 4 year period. Constructed Doppelmayr, Poma and Nippon Cable ropeway products. Services: project management, engineering, drawings, specifications, RFP documents, bid review, contract documents, construction management, certification. Route - 0.5 km to 3.0 km with multiple stations.

 

 

 

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