The Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway is a classic reversible aerial passenger tramway that provides transportation between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan.  The tramway operates using a system of wire ropes, hauling machinery, and support towers to transport two tram cars back and forth over the East River, approximately 3,100 feet between the Roosevelt Island Terminal and the Manhattan Terminal. Each tram car travels along two stationary wire track ropes supported by three structural steel towers; one on Roosevelt Island and two in Manhattan.

Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. (TT) was retained by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the existing condition of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway system, and TT retained H&H, whose work focused on evaluating the mechanical and electrical components of the tram machinery.

H&H’s evaluation of the tram’s machinery was performed via on-site visual observations and scientific testing.  The inspection included the operating machinery, motors, sheaves, track and operating ropes, and the electrical control systems.  The assessment included a review of the backup and safety devices and emergency procedures documented by the operators of the tram.  RIOC used H&H’s inspection and subsequent evaluation to determine whether rehabilitation or replacement of the Tramway was warranted.