MAC Construction of Rapid City recently won a $4.86 million contract for work to update Jewel Cave National Monument’s Scenic Tour route. According to the Rapid City Journal, MAC Construction is owned by Brett Oleson, of Rapid City, and his brother Justin, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jewel Cave National Monument is located 13 miles west of Custer, and work will commence over the next two winters. All guided cave tours will be suspended during construction, while the visitor center, park store, and surface trails will remain open to visitors.
The project focuses on improving safety along the cave’s half-mile long tour route by refurbishing or replacing stair treads, safety railings, and handrails, placing concrete walkways, and upgrading electrical lighting along the path. The current structures were built over 50 years ago, according to superintendent Michelle Wheatley, and improvements are needed to keep visitors safe.
Workers will also be cautious so as to not damage the sensitive cave environment during construction, and MAC Construction does have prior experience working in caves, and in Jewel Cave specifically.
Find more information about parks in the region in the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.