Lake Placid toboggan chute nears finish

Construction could wrap by end of month

LAKE PLACID — After some initial unexpected setbacks in recent weeks when installing the new toboggan chute near the village beach, the town of North Elba still believes the chute has a good chance to be ready by the end of this month.

Speaking at Tuesday’s North Elba Town Council meeting, town councilman Derek Doty said an end of January opening is “still realistic.”

Doty said he anticipates the final steelwork on the new slide would be completed today and added that the slide’s new roof is assembled on the ground and ready for installation.

“And then I’m pretty sure the final decision was that Marcel was going to bring his big crane down to set that (roof),” Doty said. “Because the one that was from Jeffords was really only big enough for the individual pieces of steel.”

North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi said the project made a lot of crucial progress over the past two weeks.

“The key was re-setting those pins and securing everything,” Doty said.

Doty said that he hopes that when rain forecast for Thursday passes, the construction crew will then begin to install the chute’s lumber.

He added that other final parts of the process include the town arranging with the village to have lighting installed and other last minute additions.

The current phase of construction of the new slide began about a month ago. Doty said at last month’s meetings that the project has been slightly delayed due to concurrent work the village was completing on a storm drain near the site. He added that work needed to be completed on the structure’s four most important caissons that hold up the weight of the toboggan chute, and that they straddle that storm drain.

In the past, the North Elba Park District has deemed the chute fit to open by the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January, though that hinges on ice thickness. Last year a lack of ice thickness resulted in the chute never opening before the town deemed it structurally unsafe and began looking into building a new one.

In August, the town council unanimously passed a bond resolution to finance the new slide, awarding the construction contract to Jeffords Steel at a cost of $273,996 to the town. The old slide, which was demolished and scrapped, was converted into a toboggan chute from a Lake Placid Club ski jump in 1965.