Monday, January 28, 2013

Sarasota set for Nik Wallenda sky walk over U.S. 41

Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Gary Wiepert / AP.

Sarasota is ready for its big day.

The city will close U.S. 41 between Ringling Blvd.and the John Ringling Causeway in downtown Tuesday while Sarasota native and world-famous aerialist Nik Wallenda walks over the highway from the bayfront to Marina Tower on a high wire without a safety harness.

The closure is expected to occur from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., with the event scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Traffic congestion is expected from 9 a.m. until noon. Road closure signs will be posted and motorists should follow the detour signs. Traffic will remain open to and from St. Armands Circle and the barrier islands.

Due to a public safety perimeter which will be established, public parking near the bayfront will be limited. Spectators are encouraged to walk to the event or park their vehicles in the Palm Ave. Garage. A free trolley also will shuttle spectators roundtrip from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot at 777 N. Tamiami Trail to the event, with a drop-off at the intersection of Cocoanut Avenue and Gulfstream Avenue. The trolley will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved Wallenda’s skywalk without a tether during its last regular meeting this past Tuesday, providing Wallenda received approval from the Florida Department of Transportation which oversees U.S. 41., and offers a satisfactory statement indemnifying the City of Sarasota. The Commission also waived the special event permits for the skywalk totaling approximately $6,000-$8,000, according to a recent press release issued by the City of Sarasota.

Circus Sarasota is the sponsor of Wallenda’s "Sarasota Skywalk."

Aerialist Nik Wallenda to wire walk over U.S. 41 in Sarasota

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