Dominica Cable Car Project makes significant progress as construction steams ahead

Upon completion, the Boiling Lake is expected to be the most prominent attraction in Dominica

By Alina Kalam

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Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 10:43 AM

Dominica has long been recognised and appreciated as one of the most beautiful destinations for tourists and travelers, who flock to the island, especially during the Caribbean cruise season.

To maintain its tourism industry and make it even more appealing, the Dominican government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has initiated multiple projects and the Cable Car Dominica will be the flagship of tourism in the whole Caribbean region.

A Journey to the Boiling Lake: A Hidden Jewel

Dominica is often referred to as ‘The Nature Island of the Caribbean’, which is why the government has invested its resources and time in the Cable Car Project, which will provide tourists with easy access to Dominica’s Boiling Lake – second largest in the world.

The Boiling Lake in Dominica is the largest such phenomenon in the world and in a poetic turn of events, will get the longest cable car in the world, once the project is complete.

The lake is a volcanic hydrothermal feature in the Valley of Desolation in Southern Dominica. In the recent past, the lake has been somewhat of a secret that only locals knew about. Through the Cable Car Project, the Government of Dominica is looking to bring this secret to the world.

The project has been initiated in partnership with ABL Holdings and Doppelmayr, the world leaders in cable car technology, highlighting the effort being put into the entire endeavour.

Once operational, the cable car will allow visitors to avoid a hectic 6–8-hour hike to the feature, which is likely to make it an even more attractive proposition to tourists.

It will also open up another major attraction to tourists who are already quite mesmerized by all that ‘The Nature Island’ has to offer.

Project Update

The Cable Car Project is under the direct supervision of both ABL Holdings and Doppelmayr. A recent interview helped delineate the progress made and the impressive pace at which different aspects of the large-scale project are coming together.

According to sources, each singular cabin will have the capacity to transport 10 passengers simultaneously. The entire cable car will have the capacity to carry over 1000 people per hour, going up and down the route at the same time.

Once complete, the project will also take the moniker of ‘the longest single section cable car in the world’.

Representatives of the project also explained the current scenario, elaborating on the stage the project finds itself in. As of now, the construction team is focusing on ‘tower structure assembly’, a crucial step in the project, as the entire system will be supported by these towers, especially in the forest.

The team is also working on the construction of anchors and laying foundations for the towers, ensuring the safety and security of the load bearing sections.

Once this stage has been completed, heavy lift helicopters will be brought in to airlift the massive tower columns to predetermined sections of the route, where they will be placed to support the entire structure.

The project is spread over a long route and requires specialized equipment for various tasks. Self-containing trucks, for example, with all wheel driving capabilities, have been brought in from India to traverse the tough terrain being worked on.

Currently the trucks are being used to haul concrete, but in due time, the trucks will be taken further into the forest to perform various tasks necessary for the completion of the project.

The project is not just limited to the cable car, as the bottom station area and the parking lot are being constructed simultaneously as well. This area will offer many amenities to tourists, who can explore the station, shop for souvenirs and also load and unload from the cable car from this station.

The Project’s Societal Impact

The Cable Car Project is not just a tourism exercise, but also a beneficial project for the citizens that live in the surrounding regions. In the current moment, the project employs 140 workers, which includes both men and women.

The project provides employment to hundreds of families locally and will continue to do so even after it is complete.

The shops, tourist spots and cable car infrastructure will be the livelihood of many citizens of Dominica for years to come. Beyond that the site will also provide employment to taxi drivers, tour guides and local vendors.

On a larger scale, the project is expected to bring three times more tourists than the average number as of now. In simpler terms, the Dominica Cable Car Project will expand the tourism industry in the nation by a multiple of three.

Sources also made it a point to say that the success of this project would be a proud moment for all citizens of Dominica as it is an important initiative which would help the people of Dominica, while also revealing the majestic beauty of the Boiling Lake to the world.

On site Progress Report

Going by the latest reports surfacing from the construction site, the project is on schedule and the progress is impressive.

  • The foundation for the LCS Tower and the Deadman Anchor installation have been completed.
  • 44 out of the 59 Deadman anchor logs have been buried and backfilled.
  • Tower 1 Guy Rope Anchors are being designed.
  • The foundation for Tower 14 has been excavated.
  • The Tower 15 foundation will be the last one to be cast by hand according to the project manager.
  • Guy rope lines are being re-cut and the tree line is being cut to accommodate the development.
  • Anchor weight locations are being excavated.
  • Anchor weight pre-casting is in progress.
  • The Tower 7 winch pad has been excavated and blinded.
  • LCS Tower assembly and saddles have been completed.
  • Rigging pallets are being placed for flying them.
  • Trail work is being conducted near Tower 3.
  • Top Station building sites have been completed.
  • Anchor Hole digging has been resumed.
  • 6 buildings have also been constructed to be flown to the Top Station.
  • Micropile drilling and grouting for Tower 8 is in progress.
  • Tower 10 and Tower 11 are being excavated by hand as of now.

The aforementioned tasks have been completed without delay and in the current moment, all aspects of the construction project are on schedule, in accordance with the timeline presented to the government.

Upon project completion, the Boiling Lake is anticipated to emerge as Dominica's foremost attraction, potentially becoming a key tourist destination in the Caribbean.

It is also one of the major reasons why Dominica is expected to surpass other Caribbean nations in terms of tourism, as other such significant government projects are also slated for the near future.

A small factoid regarding the project is that upon completion, it will break the current Guiness Book record, becoming the longest cable car in the world.

In conclusion, it is quite impressive to see that the Government of Dominica, under the leadership of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has been able to bring together the best equipment, material and the most competent professionals to make this ground breaking project a reality.

— Alina Kalam is an independent business journalist.

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