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Dual zip line taking shape for May 4
This is a graphic of what the 600-foot dual zip line for May 4 in Rumford will look like.
RUMFORD -- The effort for a dual zip line for May 4 moved a bit closer Thursday when the Board of Selectmen gave approval that town property can be used for the two 600-foot-long zip lines to carry near the Rite Aid street-side parking area over the Androscoggin River to the town snow dump.
Jim Rinaldo, part of the zip line committee that includes Glen Holmes, Jim Sysko and Tom Carey, told board members that that area will actually be closed off for three days, from May 2-4. The first day will be for the set up; the second day for the fire marshal to inspect and approve it; and the third day for the riders.
This event is part of the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival which is being organized by the Envision Rumford! group.
Rinaldo said they will try to find some flashing lights so they can run the zip line at night. He also looked at Police Chief Stacy Carter and said they would like to be able to have use of a radar gun for a competition to see who could rider over the zip line run in the fastest time.
For the last Fourth of July celebration, Envision Rumford! ran a dual zip line 500 feet at the Hosmer Field Complex.
The effort to make that happen took about a month and involved bringing Newry engineer Jim Sysko on board to suspend a cable between two Rumford Public Works trucks. One truck was parked in the Hannaford supermarket lot; the other in right field at the Hosmer Field Complex beside Route 2.
Rinaldo said the big expense was the cost of $1,700 for six hours of insurance. This time around, he said they will have Monkey C Monkey Do of Wiscasset run the May 4 zip line, with two of their people (one of each end). Further, Envision Rumford! will pay a stipend to use that company's insurance for this zip line, a savings of $1,000 from the last time.
Rinaldo said another change will be that instead of town trucks, a skidder will be used at the start of the zip line, with an 80-ton boulder used to anchor the other end.
With the board's approval, Rinaldo said Sysko has designed the plans and is to meet with the state fire marshal for approval.
In his email, Carey described the May 4 zip line. There will be an approximate 50 foot drop in elevation. The riders will be about 60 feet above water level, but that depends on the height of the river at that time of year. With spring runoff the water can be raging, making the ride even more thrilling. It is expected that four-wheelers will transport riders and harnesses from the landing point to the road way and then will be transported by van or bus to the launch point.
"This will be a good prelude to our phase one project to have a launch point up river under the Memorial Bridge to a landing point proximate to the same landing area. This will provide an opportunity for the public to not only ride a short but thrilling zip line, but will also show case the excitement and business generated from zip line enthusiasts," said Carey.