Rides to the top of the Arch close after water seeps into tram area

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ST. LOUIS – Some downtown streets near the Mississippi River are underwater because of flooding. But out-of-towners visiting St. Louis this weekend discovered some restrictions if they try to visit the Gateway Arch.

The National Park Service closed the Arch south tram Friday because of water seepage in the loading zone area. The north tram had already been closed due to previously scheduled maintenance. Both trams are expected to resume normal operations on Saturday at 8 a.m. but the tram closings have changed the plans of some visitors.

"We were hoping to do some sightseeing today and I guess we're going to have to maybe wait until Sunday, said Los Angeles resident Antonio Burruel.

All other attractions at the arch including the visitor center, the museum, the theater, the Arch Store, and the Arch Café were not affected and remained open Friday.

"We're a little bummed about it but I'm sure we'll find some time on Sunday. Tomorrow we're busy working," said San Diego resident Daniella Mora.

Mississippi River floodwater is creeping up the steps of the Gateway Arch. The water won’t get anywhere near the Gateway Arch itself, but the riverfront road, Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, will likely be underwater for weeks. The Mississippi River crested downtown on Friday morning at 46 feet, 3.5 feet below the 1993 record.

"The ground has been so saturated over an extended period of time that we're having some water seepage into our south tram loading zone so it created a slip and fall hazard for our visitors," said Erin Hilligoss, National Park Service Director of Education.

Visitors who previously purchased tickets for the Tram Ride to the Top for Friday, June 7, should visit the Ticket Center inside the Arch Visitor Center or call 877-982-1410 for a refund or reschedule their tram ride for a different day.

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