TAMPA - Eric usually walks to his hotel job on Harbor Island by crossing the west side bridge from downtown Tampa. But the Secret Service's decision to close that span means a long detour.
"They told us that we have to come to work two hours earlier instead of our normal time," said Eric, one of thousands who will have to change their routine for four long days in August.
The RNC's security and transportation plan calls for the closure of the busy Lee Roy Selmon Expressway from Willow Street to 50th Street. The Platt and Brorein Bridges in and out of downtown Tampa will also be closed for the duration of the convention.
Hattrick's Bar and Restaurant falls just inside the Whiting Street boundary, where no traffic will be allowed. But since Anheuser Busch rented the entire premises for the duration of the convention, it won't cost them any business.
"Getting people here -- employees, and where do we park and where do we get deliveries? Those are our biggest concerns," said Hattrick's manager, Dave Mangioni.
Boaters moored in the security zone along the Marriott Waterside have been told that their boats must remain tied up during the entire week of the convention.
Doug Byrd plans to stay on board his power boat, 'Bada Bing', which he could have rented out for as much as $30,000, if the marina owners allowed it.
"We try to conform with what they want us to do and not to do. It's very tempting," said Byrd.
The vast area put off-limits to local drivers and pedestrians is a product of hyper vigilance in a post 9/11 world. But the Tampa Host Committee, charged with showing off Tampa to the world, believe it is a small price to pay.
"Is all this traffic and all this security and all this hype really worth it?" asked Host Committee President Ken Jones.
"The answer is 'Absolutely.' One hundred percent, no doubt about it. It really puts Tampa on the map and makes us shine as a world-class city and we're going to do our best to showcase it."
More: See the restrictions at http://wfts.tv/MBW439 .
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The Washington State Patrol says the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River at Mount Vernon has collapsed, dumping vehicles and people into the water.