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Pier 57, Great Wheel closure disappoint Seattle's waterfront visitors

Businesses on Seattle's normally busy Pier 57, also known as Miner's Landing, are now scrambling after being forced to close due to safety concerns about the pier.

SEATTLE — Visitors to Seattle's waterfront on Saturday hoping to take a ride on The Great Wheel or eat at The Crab Pot arrived to find everything on Pier 57 closed. City leaders closed Pier 57 as a precaution following last weekend's partial collapse of the neighboring Pier 58. 

Michael Cueno and his sister Lana Erickson came to Pier 57, also known as Miner's Landing, for a special birthday lunch but left disappointed. 

“It's his birthday today and that was our plan to go to Crab Pot because he's never had it,” Erickson said. She flew in from L.A. for the occasion and they had no idea about the closure before they arrived Saturday. “We're just now seeing the disappointment, I'm going to cry. It's crazy you've been wanting to do this for so long."

The owners of Pier 57 and all the businesses said it's another blow to what has been a tough year. A major drop in tourism, COVID-19 restrictions, smoke, and civil unrest have kept customers away.

RELATED: Seattle's Pier 57 and Great Wheel close as a precaution following Pier 58's collapse

“We were already hurting economically and this just puts, well it doesn't put the nail in the coffin but it doesn't help,” Owner Hal Griffith said.  

Pier 57 is structurally sound but there is concern about another collapse next to it, which is what led the city to close it all down.

“Our pier is galvanized steel pipe, in many cases filled with concrete and rebar so our pier is extremely strong but if there was a failure in Pier 58 it could come at us sideways,” Griffith explained. “It could have a devastating effect on the pier.”

The city has told the business owners they're shutting down power to the pier so the lights to The Great Wheel, which have become part of the skyline, will remain dark during the closure.

City officials said Friday Pier 57 will be closed until further notice, leaving business owners trying to help their employees and doing their best with customers who say it's tough to find things to celebrate anymore.

“After everything that's going on in 2020 now this, too,” Cuena said. “It's the icing on the cake of 2020.”

RELATED: Construction workers released from hospital after Seattle's Pier 58 partially collapsed

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