Top secret tunnel to give peninsula a lift

A worker tests the new chairlift for comfort and safety

A worker tests the new chairlift for comfort and safety

The strange rumblings and vibrations that have been experienced by Arthurs Seat residents for the last 20 months seemed to defy all logical explanations. Then came the random opening of garage doors that residents put down to electrical impulses being emitted by passing ships.

Only now is Mornington Peninsula News Group able to reveal the real cause of these seemingly bizarre incidents; secret underground earthworks as a team of workers rebuilds Arthurs Seat’s historical chairlift…. underground.

Leading engineer on the project, Gary Bufkin, explains:

“The chairlift is an emotional issue in these parts. We wanted to be able to recreate the chairlift whilst avoiding the issues involved in pylon maintenance, weather, and the dangers involved whenever anything or anybody is raised off the ground”.

“With the litigious nature of our society these days, we had to come up with a solution that would allow visitors to the area the experience of riding up the side of a mountain, whilst minimising risk. Placing the new infrastructure for the chairlift underground simply ticked all the boxes”.

The entrance to the work site is out of the public’s eye as the contractors wanted to be able to get the project underway without too much publicity. Now it is nearing completion, though, they have swung open the doors on the project.

“It will be mid-May when we break through the carpark at the top of Arthur’s Seat. No one will want to be parked in the carparks just near the viewing platform on that day!”

After breaking through, much work has to be done on the interior with huge video screens depicting the scenery that visitors would be seeing should they not be underground.

“It’ll be an entire sound and light show. The chairlift rider will feel like he or she is actually riding a chairlift up the side of the mountain, but will actually be about 35 feet underground,” explained Mr Bufkin.

The project was the brain-child of local real estate developer Max Bizney, is backed by a consortium of local business people, and has the blessing of local, state and the federal governments.

“Quite simply, this is a world’s first, and it’s right here. Something to be very proud of” exclaimed Mr Bufkin. The offi cial public opening of the new chairlift scheduled for the 1st of April, 2011.




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