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2021, Finally!

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The year 2020 was one we will never forget — wildfires, hurricanes, politics and a plague. Here on the cusp of 2021 (at the time of this writing), we are so hopeful. This is the year we have been waiting for! The year we get well, travel again, eat somewhere besides home and Will it happen like we imagined? I think it just might.

To celebrate the new year, we have eight winners of the Project of the Year Awards. As with many of the winners in the 22 previous contests, it is the challenge that often decides the victor. Several are in the U.S., but the rest range from Hong Kong to Romania to Jerusalem:

  • Elevators, New Construction: Collins House in Melbourne, Australia, where Otis worked within space and time constraints to deliver advanced elevators to a new landmark tower.
  • Elevators, Modernization: Whiteface Mountain Historic Elevator in Wilmington, New York, where elevators at the popular tourist attraction were renewed with a nod toward its legacy.
  • Escalators, New Construction: Yitzchak Navon Train Station in Jerusalem, where a complex train station design challenged installers to build a monorail to move escalator sections.
  • Escalators, Modernization: Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway Systems in Hong Kong, where new technology was brought to the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world.
  • Moving Walks: Mechanical Ramp of Gran Via Vigo in Vigo, Spain, where top-of-the-line moving walks were installed in often-wet urban conditions.
  • Inclined Elevators: Parque Turistico Observatorio 1873 in Mazatlán, Mexico, where Minnesota-based Hill-Hiker thought outside the box to design a custom unit in a harsh environment. (Also on cover)
  • Private-Residence Elevators: Stainless-Steel Glass Elevator in the Florida Keys, where teamwork and creativity overcame myriad challenges for a beautiful and robust system.
  • Special-Purpose Lifts: Pasărea Măiastră Passenger Platform Lift in Craiova, Romania, where a unique hydraulic device allows a passenger to experience an immersion into renowned sculptor Constantin Brâncuși’s world.

This month also features our Focus on Safety, a section in which we have five fine articles:

  • Engineering for Safety by Muharrem B. Çakirer: The author proposes that cabin manufacturers also make the safety gear so the customer can find a single responsible entity.
  • The Importance of Maintenance by Lee Freeland: Freeland interviews Charlie Slater of ATIS, who addresses his concerns over the more than 3,500 escalators and moving walks his company inspects yearly.
  • Electronic Inspections are Making Elevators Safer by Tim Ebeling and Kevin Heling: These experts propose measurement and testing using electronic means as a far superior way to perform one- and five-year category tests.
  • Taking the Highway to Safety by Åsa Christina Magnusson: American Elevator Group has partnered with Lou DeLoreto of Elevate Safety Systems to build a program based on the National Elevator Industry, Inc.’s “9 Safety Absolutes.”
  • A Nudge in the Right Direction by Atif Bhanjee: The author cites many studies that confirm bright colors and images on escalator steps and handrails help passengers adhere to safety rules. Happy New Year! With a hopeful heart, I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Be safe, and let’s get together again.
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