An aerial tramway first opened some 60 years ago in El Paso may soon be in store for a major upgrade.
Members of the Texas State Senate have passed a bill calling for spending up to $15 million to repair the historic Wyler Aerial Tramway, which formerly provided access for maintenance work on television towers located in the Franklin Mountains.
The tramway is made up of two aerial cable cars that have been under the control of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 1997.
Those cable cars travel over 195 acres of mountain and rock formations on a 2,600 foot-long steel cable. Reaching its peak at the top of Ranger Peak, the tramway once provided views of Texas, New Mexico, and even Chihuahua, Mexico.
But the tramway, carrying up to 45,000 visitors a year, was closed by state authorities last September after an engineering analysis said the facility had outlived its expectancy and was no longer suitable for public use.
Now the new Senate bill calls for a partnership between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority as the first necessary step to launching upgrade work on the tramway.
That legislation is presently on its way to the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign the bill.
By Garry Boulard
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