Slip Bridge Breaks Again; Businesses Lose Tourism Dollars
Foot Traffic Obstacle Causes Decline in Sales
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The Minnesota Slip Bridge malfunctions are negatively effecting waterfront business in Duluth.
The bridge was closed Monday after strong winds loosened the cables responsible for the raising and lowering of the bridge.
The bridge was secured in the open position with pins, until the cables can be repaired, to allow boats to move in and out of the marina.
While the boats are moving freely, foot traffic is not.
That causes concern for waterfront businesses hoping to maximize opportunities during the height of the tourist season.
Canal Park hotel guests cannot cross freely into the Bayfront area and those parking in the DECC garage are also restricted from moving into Canal Park.
The reduction in foot traffic caused Vista Tours to cancel half of their cruises today and the remaining cruises were under booked.
The reduced booking rate could create a difference of up to $20,000 in revenue from last week.
The city of Duluth says that leaving the bridge down while it waits for repairs restricts the flow of boats in and out of the marina, and also causes a safety hazard for pedestrians.
With the cables compromised the bridge planks can be lifted into the air by strong winds, like the ones that caused the initial damage.
Repairs are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning.
The city hopes to have the bridge re-opened sometime early Tuesday afteroon.