No skiing: Whiteface toll road will stay plowed for elevator renovation

The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway begins at the toll house in Wilmington, as seen Thursday. The road will be plowed this winter, blocking its use as a ski route. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

WILMINGTON — The Veterans Memorial Highway, which allows people to drive nearly to the summit of Whiteface Mountain, will be plowed through the winter as work on the summit elevator continues for a second year.

That will obstruct the road’s other use as a popular ski attraction.

The road was dedicated by then-New York Gov. Franklin Roosevelt in 1929 and officially opened by then-President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.

However, with work being done on an elevator, the road will be plowed to allow workers access to the top of the state’s fifth-highest mountain.

“This has been a two year project and work will continue this winter so that it becomes operational by the coming summer,” Olympic Regional Development Authority Director of Communications Jon Lundin wrote in an email. “The elevator gives all people (no matter age and ability) the opportunity to summit Whiteface and take in the unparalleled views of the High Peaks.”

Lundin said the road would be plowed when conditions and weather call for it, and that the work is slated to be done by Memorial Day Weekend next year.

ORDA’s website says the toll road rises more than 2,300 feet in elevation over five miles. The road is open for the summer with a fee for vehicles, and closes each fall for the winter.