The Jasper SkyTram whisks people up to 2300m elevation, providing access to boardwalks and hiking trails to the summit of Whistler’s Mountain. What started out as an upgrade design for the tram’s braking system has turned into a long-term relationship between the owners and McElhanney. When that initial project was complete in 2012, new owners took over the daily operation. They commissioned a full engineering review of the lift to determine its long-term viability. McElhanney undertook structural modelling of the towers and terminals, based on loading scenarios, to determine if they are sufficient for future development. McElhanney has acted as project manager and design engineers for numerous upgrades to the SkyTram including the detailed refurbishment of the iconic red passenger cabins.
One of the other interesting aspects of the project was the geotechnical study of Whistlers mountain which, along with previous studies, showed that the upper mountain is moving. In addition to coordinating the mountain dynamics study, McElhanney’s Canmore survey staff provided highly accurate survey data to allow the ongoing monitoring of the small, yet detectable movement of the mountain.