POLITICS

Details on Niagara Falls tightrope stunt expected later today

05/02/2012 03:32 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - Daredevil Nik Wallenda appears ready to announce the date of his planned tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.

The seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas has spent months getting the necessary permissions from Canada and the United States for the cross-border stunt.

He's expected in Niagara Falls today to talk about his plans.

Wallenda's stunt will merge two pop culture traditions — his own family's death-defying feats on the high wire and the daredevil acts at Niagara Falls that date back more than 100 years.

It took an act of the New York Legislature and persistent lobbying of Canadian parks officials to make Wallenda's planned wire stunt a possibility.

The Niagara Parks Commission board gave its thumbs up to Wallenda in February, reversing an earlier decision against the stunt.

Chairwoman Janice Thomson had said the approval was a "unique one-time situation" and that Wallenda was able to prove he had proper controls and safety measures in place.

She also said the commission would only consider requests for such events from skilled professionals once every 20 years.

Wallenda's walk across the falls on a two-inch steel cable is expected to be televised live.

A study has suggested that the television coverage of the event could help generate a $120-million shot in the arm to the Niagara economy.