Wallenda walk in Chicago grounded by state law?
Illinois state law could force daredevil Nik Wallenda to make some changes to his planned stunt in Chicago.
Wallenda plans to walk a tightrope 600 feet above the Chicago River.
He and his family members are known for pulling similar stunts over Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon.
Each time Wallenda goes on the rope, he does not use a net or a harness to help him in case he falls.
That could be a problem in Illinois.
The state’s Aerial Exhibitors Safety Act requires a safety net “or other safety device of similar purpose and construction” for a public performance at 20 feet or higher on trapezes, tightrope, wire, rings, ropes, poles or ‘other aerial apparatus.”
Violating that law would be a class A misdemeanor.
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which is coordinating the city’s role in the event, says its working with the state on the conflict.
On November 2, Wallenda plans to walk a tightrope from Marina City’s west tower to the roof of the Burnett Building.
He will then walk, on the ground, to the east tower of Marina City and walk another wire to the west tower.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has expressed enthusiastic support for the event, which will be televised live by the Discovery Channel.
“The only thing I can’t train for is how cold it is,” Wallenda said. “I do everything I do to fascinate and inspire people.”