MISSOULA — Thanks to the innovation of a local metal fabricator, Missoula's popular Carousel is re-opening much sooner than expected, with the ponies ready for the "round-to-round" again on Thursday morning.
The Carousel for Missoula had to be shut down in late July after a main bearing failed in the century old ride's apparatus.
Because of the age of the ride, there was real uncertainty about how to get it going again -- that's where Andy Troutwine came to the rescue.
He used the tools from "Andy's Shop" to design and fabricate a replacement bearing, which was installed this week with the help of Carousel volunteers.
Troutwine designed a special "collar" bearing, which was able to be opened and snapped around the main drive shaft. Without that design, the entire support structure of the ride would have had to be dis-assembled.
In addition to the mechanical achievement, Carousel Director Theresa Cox says children have been making their own donations to help get the ride up and running.