Dec. 21 (UPI) — After more than two years of work on Germany’s highest construction site, a world record-breaking cableway in the Bavarian Alps is set to open Friday.
The cable car on the country’s tallest mountain, Zugspitze, is located near the Armed Forces Recreation Center Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. The gondola breaks three records for any hanging cable car system — the tallest steel tower, the longest cableway span and the highest elevation difference.
The $ 59 million cableway was difficult to build with the main challenges being high altitude and removing ice and snow from equipment.
Out of the thousands of service members and families who go skiing on the German Alps each year, roughly one-third head to the Zugspitze, which claims to have the best views in Germany.
Aside from the view, the new cable car brings other benefits, like decreased wait times. Compared to the previous gondola, 30 minutes was cut from the travel time and four times many passengers, 580 per hour, can travel up the mountain.
Deputy Minister President of Bavaria Ilse Aigner and Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann were present during the official launch on Thursday — and prior to the first ride, Munich archbishop Cardinal Reinhard Marx and regional bishop Susanne Breit-Keßler blessed the new operation.