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Chris Jones

More Bad Magic -- Traffic Stalled After Crane Slams Bridge

15 February 2005

Las Vegas tourism leaders love the 93,000 visitors and $129.7 million in nongaming spending the Men's Apparel Guild in California trade show will bring here this week.

But they'd also welcome an end to the biannual gathering's recent run of bad luck.

Bad MAGIC struck again Monday when a truck-mounted crane traveling south on Paradise Road slammed into a pedestrian bridge near Convention Center Drive around 7:30 a.m. The accident closed the bridge for several hours, forcing those who parked at the Las Vegas Convention Center's busy gold lot to cross Paradise at street level, said Marina Nicola, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The truck driver was cited, Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Chris Jones said Monday.

"He didn't realize the truck was too tall to go under," Jones said of the bridge, which is more than 18 feet above the street.

Traffic in the area was limited for several hours as workers labored to prevent further damage, Jones said, though additional details were unavailable at press time. Nicola said Clark County inspectors at 2 p.m. ruled the bridge was sound.

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic quickly returned to normal.

MAGIC's previous stop in Las Vegas was marred by a Sept. 1 first shutdown of the Las Vegas Monorail, which lost a 60-pound rubber tire on the show's second-to-last day. The monorail remained out of commission for six days before additional problems prompted a 107-day closure that ended in late December.

On Sept. 2, hundreds of members of Teamsters Local 631 walked off their scheduled assignments tearing down the trade show floor in protest of their contracts with Freeman Cos. and GES Exposition Services, MAGIC's general contractor. That walkout later became a strike, which forced Freeman and GES to use nonunion laborers to remove the show's wares.