School Closings And Delays

Wallenda Wire Made in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Millions watched on TV Sunday night as the Flying Wallendas brought their high-wire act to Times Square in New York City.

The brother and sister successfully navigated the death-defying feat.

Along with all the nervous onlookers on the ground were some very anxious viewers watching on TV from the Williamsport area.

The Wallendas conquered the high-wire walk above the Big Apple, but the rope that separated them from the ground was designed and made in Williamsport.

"When he's on the wire, we are on the edge of our seats. I call it white-knuckle walking because my knuckles are white while he's walking," said Kim Konyar, an engineer at Wire Rope Works in Williamsport.

Konyar designed the wire the Wallendas crossed. Konyar has to make sure that the wire is made to the exact liking of the Wallendas, otherwise, the walk could have a very unfortunate ending.

"The rope that we made for Nik (Wallenda) last night for the walk of Manhattan is this particular style rope. It's a 3/4-inch diameter rope, and it has the breaking strength of 70,000 pounds."

Konyar and his team were not new to this challenge. Wire Rope Works has been making Wallenda's wires for years. Konyar showed us a 2-inch diameter rope Wallenda used to walk across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.

"He wanted a heavy rope there because the heavy rope is not guy-wired to anything else like last night's."

It took about 10 weeks for Wallenda's rope to be designed and created. Each foot of rope equates to around $10 in manufacturing alone. Mill employees worked day and night stretching, compacting, and tying the rope to make sure it would be perfect for the Wallendas' big night.

After the walk, Wallenda said he has an eye on an active volcano for his next stunt, and Konyar said he and his crew are up for the challenge.

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