Peak 8 construction will continue under the lights |

Peak 8 construction will continue under the lights

BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge Ski Resort will step up construction of its Peak 8 summit lift with round-the-clock construction to get the project back on schedule.A helicopter will bring lights to the top of the mountain to allow crews to work on the Imperial Express SuperChair at night for a few days to make up for time lost when an excavator – also flown in by helicopter last month – broke down.Night work could begin tonight.Resort officials could not say Tuesday how many lights would be brought to the construction area, but said they would be directed away from the town to diminish the impact to residents. Joe Foreman, U.S. Forest Service winter sports administrator for the Dillon Ranger District, said shields would be used to deflect light onto the work zone and away from populated areas. Mayor Ernie Blake was notified of the plan, he said.Nighttime construction is expected to last for several days, and will begin as soon as weather allows the helicopter to fly necessary equipment.Lift construction began Aug. 2, later than hoped as the resort dealt with delays in the approval process caused by a Forest Service decision that required a January approval to be remanded and reconsidered at a higher management level. The lift – the highest in North America and serving terrain previously only accessed by a 45-minute hike – was contested by Colorado Wild, an industry watchdog organization, and a group of local skiers.”The challenge is the very short timeframe left for construction, once we got through the (approval) process,” Foreman said. “It’s a very small lift and with the construction plan, they did demonstrate that they might be able to finish.”Finishing before ski season is on the resort’s agenda, said spokeswoman Nicky DeFord, and a broken piece of machinery is not likely to thwart the lift’s planned Christmas week opening.Crews were informed this week that they’d be working in shifts to allow round-the-clock construction to get the project back on schedule and headed toward completion before the start of the season.The resort plans a Nov. 11 opening.Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at

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