I wrote earlier this week about Pullen Park's kiddie boats being closed for the next couple of weeks for maintenance. The post, along with a mention on our Facebook page, raised some questions from readers.
"I don't understand why this wasn't done when the place was closed for a few years??," commented batesmaureen in that original post. "They have only been open a few months and now they are closing this attraction?"
Richard Costello, with the city's parks department, offered some further explanation. The work is to ensure that the boats, which received an overhaul and were brought up to code during the two years the park was closed, are in running order for the busier spring and summer season.
Some of the work involves routine maintenance and inspections that must be done on an annual basis when the ride is in operation, he said. In order to do some of that work, they must close the ride and drain the pool. The city also discovered a small leak in one of the boats after the November opening.
"We had two items that we needed to address," Costello wrote in an email. "The first is that just after the opening, we discovered a small leak in boat No. 1 where the propeller comes through the back transom. In the weeks leading up to the Holiday Express, we actually had to stop allowing children on that particular boat and wanted to make sure they are in top shape for the 2012 season. Additionally, unlike the carousel, many of the gears and fittings are under water and an inspection of the ride and how it has performed during the first two months was decided to assure both safety and enjoyment for this summer."
"I think that it is amazing that our community loves these rides as much as they do and I am always more than happy to sit and talk about these Raleigh treasures," he added. (And he truly does love to talk about them).
Going forward, Pullen Park fans should be prepared for the train and carousel to be closed from time to time for maintenance and inspections.
Wrote Costello: "Each ride will have a scheduled down time and we will rotate the closing so that they will not be closed at the same time. For the train and the carousel, we will definitely alternate so they are not down at the same time. We are not scheduled to close these rides for any extended maintenance until at least this time next year."
The boats should reopen by Feb. 17.