Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Temporary cable crossing at South Street being considered

As construction looms on the South Street Bridge, the city is making plans for the traffic and logistical nightmares that will plague the neighborhoods linked by the crumbling span.

One idea being seriously considered by the city is a cable crossing that would be set up just south of the bridge's current location.

"Cable crossings are slow and dangerous but very economical," said Harold Comtier, owner of Cable Solutions Inc., a Bridgeport, PA company. "That's how I make a living, but I wouldn't be caught on one."

The design being considered would allow for one adult or two small children to cross over the Schuylkill River at one time. Passengers would be strapped to a pulley and pulled across by individuals on the destination side.

There would also be a "Sky Club," which would be a lounge-type area for frequent crossers.

"Each side would have a trailer that would act as a lounge for our privileged travelers," said Comtier. "Things like free coffee and nice leather chairs will welcome the cable travelers. Oh, and cable television. Pun intended."

City Council member Donna Miller is a little concerned for the safety of children. "Children will be crossing the river to get to school. I think they should be given some sort of snack."

Many residents in the neighborhoods affected by the bridge closing echoed Miller's concern for snacks.

"Bottom line is the kids need to get a snack," said Graduate Hospital resident, Debbie Tuliver. "Some sort of snack should be provided."

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