|Park Ranger Gosia Allison-Kosior talks with Lee|
and Sandy Smigiel, a couple visiting from New York,
as they cross the bridge due for replacement.
According to a news release from Park Management Assistant Paula Bauer, the replacement began April 16 and the bridge will be unavailable for two weeks.
Visitors will have access to the cave's natural entrance route by way of the nature trail, which is an additional half-mile walk.
Elevator service will be an option available directly between the visitor center and Big Room and guided tours in Carlsbad Cavern.
The bridge has been in place for several decades and shows signs of severe rust damage, said the release. A wooden support structure beneath the bridge ensures that it is safe to use.
"We had hoped to put off this replacement project until this fall, but after looking at the extent of the corrosion, it's clear that it's prudent to do the work sooner, rather than later," said Park Superintendent John Benjamin.
For a complete list of cave tours and programs and park operating hours, visit the park's website, www.nps.gov/cave.