Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW) - It’s going to be a busy day on both sides of Niagara Falls as workers prepare to string a large cable across the Falls for daredevil Nik Wallenda’s walk.
There will be several engineers, cranes and helicopters working on this project. The wire is heavy duty, weighing more than seven tons and spanning 18,000 feet.
Engineers first had to drill 70 feet down, placing four rods into the bedrock to anchor the tightrope. Next, they will install a lighter safety wire, which will be flown across by a helicopter.
Then crews, using large machines, will string the actual tight rope across the falls. The wire will then be wrapped in a machine called the “Tensioner”, which will hold about 45,000 pounds of pressure on the rope to keep it from bouncing during Wallenda’s walk.
"The cable weighs about 8-tons, the length of it, that’s about 7 pounds a foot. It's just a matter of having enough mass out there that when he's walking out there and the wind is tugging at it, that it's got the weight to stay there and not be bounced around easily," rigging engineer Peter Catchpole said.
Crews will not begin the process until the Maid of the Mist ends its tour of the day, at which point, they will begin installing the safety wire. That process could not be finished until early Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, we’re getting a better idea of the crowds expected for the event. The City of Niagara Falls is preparing for a crush of spectators. 4,000 tickets have been given out to watch the event from Terrapin Point. There will be tens of thousands more people enjoying the sights on the Canadian side of the border.