EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Regional planners are one step closer to bringing the Wyler Aerial Tramway back online.
The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department are observing an agreement to initiate a design phase for future plans. The two agencies will use nearly $4.7 million left over from a state-funded feasibility study to support the design phase and explore ways to support construction activities.
A feasibility study of the tramway that included public input found some early ideas for improvements and ways to bring it back online. In all, proposed renovation and construction on the site would cost an estimated total between $24 and $28 million.
“We are working with our engineering firm to develop a scope and budget so we can take it to the the board for approval and get them actually to begin work,” Raymond Telles, executive director of the CRRMA said. “We don’t want to go too far down a path where we are designing something we know will never get built.”
Early suggestions for the tramway include using new tram vehicles, a new base station, a new observation deck moved to approximately 1,100 feet North of Ranger Peak, a new space for food trucks and day use shelters.
While new developments in plans for the site seem promising, it is still unclear how the project will be fully funded. But there is optimism that local governments and private groups will come together to bring the attraction back online.
“This is one of those projects we are super lucky to be a part of because people have always been interested in this project,” Telles said. “I think there’s lots of different alternatives that we could pursue to find the remaining funding and I do think there’s a lot of support out there as well.”