FIRE DAMAGE: Long-Term Skywalk Closures

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Neighboring businesses weren’t the only property damaged from Saturday’s fire, part of the cities skywalk system was also damaged.

Getting around the skywalk system has been a little tricky this week, especially for Marriott Hotel guests.

“It was a bit of a struggle early Monday morning, we have a lot of repeat guests that do projects at these places. They`re used to just heading out the door and they were surprised to know they couldn't get that way,” says Marriott Hotel General Manager Terry McLane.

McLane says the Marriott Hotel is the last stop before the skywalk system is closed.

His team put together special maps and posted signs to help people wanting to travel south of the hotel get to their destination.

“We posted some managers at the exits and gave them directions, some we had to walk to get them there,” says McLane.

The site surrounding the fire has been turned over to the ATF, but once the investigation is complete - it will be returned to the city.

“We`re already working with the developer, making plans for cleaning up the site, giving final demolition of the final structure that`s still standing,” says Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson.

Anderson says the fire damaged the two catty-corner skywalk bridges at 7th and Walnut.

He says the cities insurance will cover all repairs but the bridges will remain closed until a new building is built.

Anderson says even with the closures you can still connect everywhere in the city.

“There`s enough inter-connectivity and redundancy between the skywalk corridor, you may have to go a block out of your way to get from point A to point B, it might be a little bit of a roundabout route but there is still connections in all directions,” says Anderson.

Back on the street level they city says they hope to get 7th and Locust street back open soon.

Once the investigation is complete the city plans to reopen 7th and Locust streets.

That could take a week or more, however 7th and Walnut will remain closed for an extended period of time while clean up continues.