City has plan to start fixing Howelsen Hill after landslide |

City has plan to start fixing Howelsen Hill after landslide

The remnants of a spring landslide on Howelsen Hill are visible next to the Alpine slide. The landslide is believed to have moved one of the chairlift towers and shifted some of the tracks on the slide.
Scott Franz

— It’s going to take a lot of money and some big construction equipment to begin fixing the city’s historic and beloved Howelsen Hill in the wake of a spring landslide.

After consulting with engineers, city staff is proposing to spend $267,000 to get the chairlift back in business.

The work will involve repositioning the chairlift tower that was shifted by the slide and shoring up another tower that remains vulnerable due to its position right above a major slide area.

A crane will be used to reposition the shifted tower.

The other tower will have its base covered and nailed into the bedrock.

Anne Small, the city’s director of general services, said work could start within a couple of weeks.

To make the repairs, the Steamboat Springs City Council will be asked to approve spending $67,000 from the city’s reserves.

The rest of the funding would come from contingency funds the city already has in place.

After the chairlift is back in order, the city still has work to do.

The cost estimates so far have not included dirt work that will need to be done to repair the ground damage across the hill from the side.

“We continue to research solutions for ground damage across the hill and do not have a full accounting of those repairs at this time,” City Manager Deb Hinsvark told the city council Friday in a written report.

Hinsvark said the city’s engineers are confident the repairs to the towers can be made before the other ground work on the hill is done later this summer.

She added the council will likely see supplemental budget requests in the future for the ground work.

If history is a guide, the bills for the ground work will be big too.

The city has spent $730,000 to repair damage from six landslides in the past decade, according to city staff.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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