Guest attempting ‘baseball-style slide’ cracks glass on suspension bridge in Tennessee

National News

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The SkyBridge at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park was closed on Monday when the bridge’s glass panels cracked after a guest attempted a “baseball-style slide,” the park said in a statement.’

The SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tenn., stretches 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains. It opened to the public in May 2019.

The bridge has glass-floor panels in the middle that allow you to see the ground 140 feet below. The bridge is part of Skylift Park, which features a chairlift that takes passengers up five hundred vertical feet from Gatlinburg to the top of Crockett Mountain.

On Monday night, a guest “opting not to comply” with posted rules tried to slide across the glass portion of the suspension bridge.

When the guest landed on the glass, a metal object in the person’s clothing chipped the glass and caused “noticeable cracks in the protective top layer of one glass panel,” the park said in the statement.

No one was injured, and guests were not in danger.

The park replaced the broken glass with temporary cedar planks and reopened to guests on Tuesday.

The suspension bridge stretches 680 feet and includes three 5-foot-by-5-foot glass panels, for a total of 75 square feet of clear view down to the forest below.

The park says the glass is three-ply, meaning there’s an upper layer that only serves to protect the bottom layers.

Damage to the top layer would not affect the bridge’s structural integrity, the park said.

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