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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Nebraska State Fair's new Sky Tram went through its final tests Thursday, making it almost certain it will be operating today, the fair's first day.
“The Sky Tram has passed all tests with flying colors, so barring anything unforeseen, we anticipate the Sky Tram will be operational for the opening of the State Fair tomorrow,” Executive Director Joseph McDermott said Thursday afternoon.
The Sky Tram's debut was put in doubt when one of the semitrailer trucks carrying equipment for the ride was involved in an accident with another semi on Interstate 80 near Henderson on Aug. 6.
All the equipment on that truck was destroyed.
McDermott said State Fair officials ordered new equipment to replace the parts that were damaged.
The parts that had to be replaced included the tram's 20 cars, the cable, the tram's hydraulic system and motor, and the communications cable, which is designed to shut down the tram if it detects that any seats are not fully connected to the cable.
McDermott said the use of all newly manufactured parts and equipment made him 100 percent confident that the Sky Tram is safe.
Thursday afternoon, McDermott re-emphasized that point.
“There were no parts used from the truck fire, no structural parts were involved in the collision, and the Sky Tram has passed the most stringent safety inspection,” he said.
The new Sky Tram inspired the theme for this year's fair: “High Flying Fun.”
Wade Shows will operate the Sky Tram.