Falls Park Safety Improvements: New Observation Deck and Signs
The City of Sioux Falls is proposing safety enhancements at Falls Park. According to KSFY TV News, a portion of the plan would include installing a viewing platform and safety railings near the water, as well as additional warning signs.
The platform would meet the curiosity of visitors who want to get closer to the falls, while remaining in the safe confines of an area with a railing. The cost of the new observation area could be as much as $300,000.
There have been eight incidents of people falling into the water since 1982. The most recent was March 18 when 5-year-old Maggie Jo Zaiger drowned after slipping into the water. Other deaths resulted from falling in while fishing, to drowning while trying to rescue someone else.
Falls Park, on the north end of Phillips Avenue, spans 123 acres. An average of 7,400 gallons of water rush across ancient Sioux Quartzite across 100 feet every second.
Officials at a similar waterfall area in St. Paul Minnesota say they have constructed fences in areas that could be hazardous and occasionally have to address people who still risk their safety by climbing over to the other side for a closer look.