CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Sugarloaf reopened the Spillway East chairlift this afternoon to the public after it had been decommissioned two months ago when the lift derailed with passengers on it, injuring six and leaving about 220 people stranded.

The resort completed testing and inspections of the lift last weekend, and the chief inspector for the Maine State Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety reinstated the operating license for the lift on Monday morning, according to a press release from Sugarloaf.

The lift has been closed to the public since it was damaged when it deroped from tower number eight on Dec. 28, 2010. Components that were damaged on that tower when the deropement occurred, including the tower’s sheave assembly and five chairs, were replaced with new parts. Full inspections have been performed by engineers and state inspectors of all of the lift’s machinery, according to the release.

In order to test the safety of the lift, Sugarloaf staff, independent lift engineers and members of the Tramway Board simulated the operation of a fully loaded lift using plastic-lined boxes filled with water. The lift was loaded to 100 percent of a standard load weight, which is 368 pounds per each of the 74 chairs on the lift’s uphill side, according to the release.

The lift re-opened at about 1:45 on Monday afternoon.


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