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Vandalized Sea to Sky Gondola receives new cable early, allowing rebuild to start

The Sea to Sky Gondola after its cable was deliberately cut on Aug. 10, 2019.
The Sea to Sky Gondola after its cable was deliberately cut on Aug. 10, 2019. Nadia Stewart / Global News

The Sea to Sky Gondola has received its new cable ahead of schedule, allowing rebuilding to start on the vandalized tourist attraction.

The gondola posted the announcement to its blog and Facebook page Thursday, saying the earlier-than-anticipated arrival keeps them on track for a spring 2020 reopening.

RCMP and Technical Safety BC have both confirmed the gondola’s cable, also known as a haul rope, was deliberately cut in the early hours of Aug. 10, causing most of the gondola’s 30 cabins to fall to the ground.

No one was hurt in the incident, but many of the cabins were damaged beyond repair.

READ MORE: Regulator confirms Sea to Sky Gondola cable was deliberately cut

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The 120-tonne cable arrived in Squamish from Switzerland, where it was manufactured by Fatzer Wire Ropes. The gondola praised the company for creating the cable “in a very short time and committing to squeeze us into the already very tight fabrication schedule.”

Crews will now go to work installing the cable along with experts across the globe, who are being brought to Squamish to assist.

The cabins, which have to be manufactured first, are expected to arrive between later this year and early 2020.

Click to play video 'New look at repairs to the Sea To Sky Gondola' New look at repairs to the Sea To Sky Gondola
New look at repairs to the Sea To Sky Gondola

RCMP said late August they believed the severing of the 5.2-centimetre cable was a deliberate, criminal act of vandalism. The police investigation is ongoing, and no suspects have been identified.

Technical Safety BC reached the same conclusion in a report released last month. The agency said tests found no evidence that the wire haul rope was defective, and concluded a part of the cable that was previously damaged was not involved in the collapse.

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READ MORE: Sea to Sky Gondola optimistic about spring reopening as repairs continue

The report also concluded a likely instrument used to cut the cable, however the information was redacted.

The agency also repeatedly stressed that the act could have resulted in severe injury or death to the suspect or suspects.

Click to play video 'Sea to Sky Gondola aiming for early spring reopening after alleged sabotage' Sea to Sky Gondola aiming for early spring reopening after alleged sabotage
Sea to Sky Gondola aiming for early spring reopening after alleged sabotage

The gondola says scheduled events like the drive-in movie series and a Halloween trick-or-treat in the basecamp area will go ahead this weekend despite construction starting.

The construction area will be fenced off and marked to prevent visitors from entering.

Other services at the base like the cafe and gift shop remain open throughout the week.

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