Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Daredevil Nik Wallenda prepares for walk across Niagara Falls

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Albany/HV: Daredevil Nik Wallenda prepares for walk across Niagara Falls
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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Nik Wallenda is waking up at the Seneca Niagara Casino, if he's getting any sleep at all. This daredevil is hoping he turns skeptics into believers as he takes this historic walk tonight.

"It's coming down to the wire, no pun intended. It's a reality, there's no turning back now," said wire walker Nik Wallenda.

Wallenda says that spectacle will make his dream of 27 years come true Friday night as he walks across the Horseshoe Falls on this 15,000 pound wire. The steel rope is made up of six bundles of wire containing 49 smaller wires in each.

Wallenda will be wearing a harness during the walk, and while it's not something he would choose, he says he'll only remove it if it becomes a safety issue, something he says is not likely.

Wallenda hopes his long awaited walk will have a lasting impact.

"The estimates that I've seen are that one billion people will see my image within 24 hours of me getting off of that cable, that's a lot of people and that's a lot of attention to this region, Niagara Falls. What a better feeling than to be able say that walk changed the economy in the Niagara Falls region," said Wallenda.

With the excitement of his dream coming true in a matter of hours, Wallenda says he's like a kid on Christmas.

The crowds in Niagara Falls are expected to keep building throughout the day and evening, leading up to the beginning of Wallenda's walk sometime around 10 p.m. Friday.

Traffic Expected to Be Heavy

The city of Niagara Falls expects thousands of visitors expected to flood the city for the walk.

As with any major event, expect traffic to be heavy going in and leaving.

The Niagara Falls Police Department will be handling traffic patterns coming into the city. They say they may close Goat Island to pedestrian traffic if the area becomes too backed up.

"We hope that no one will be deterred from coming here because of fears that somehow they're going to get stuck in a traffic jam and won't make it to the event. We're not going to let that happen," said Paul Dyster, mayor of Niagara Falls.

After the walk, police are asking you not to use your electronic navigation device and instead follow the directions of officers.

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