Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Visitors are provided with shoe covers to protect them from slipping and to prevent the glass floor from being scratched.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is an architectural marvel. The Skywalk was completed in March, 2007 after 2.5 years and 30 million dollars worth of hard work and engineering. This structure weighs an astonishing 1.571 million pounds, and was built to withstand an excess of 71 million pounds in weight on top of it. (That’s the equivalent of 71 fully-loaded 747 airliners piled one on top of the other!) This amazing ability to withstand weight as well as the forces of nature is due to the Skywalk’s 2 inch thick steel frame which is designed specifically to flex in the heat, cold, and wind. This frame is anchored to the Grand Canyon by casens and micro piles measuring 46 feet down into the solid bedrock. The specially-made German glass which forms the platform for our guests to walk the experience also plays a big part in the durability and beauty of Skywalk. Each of the 46 panes forming the walkway are constructed of 5-layers of glass bonded together and laminated, weighing in at 1,200 lbs a piece, and making the glass incredibly strong while still providing a crystal-clear view of the canyon below.

While not located in the Grand Canyon National Park, it is located in a smaller part of the same canyon system, offering a view like no other can.

Owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe, the Skywalk will be the first-ever cantilever shaped glass walkway to suspend more than 4,000 feet above the canyon’s floor and extend 70 feet from the canyon’s rim. March 28, 2007 as the official public opening date of The Skywalk.

Access to The Skywalk will run from dawn to dusk and will cost $25 per person in addition to the cost of a Grand Canyon Hualapai West entrance package. One hundred and twenty people will be allowed on the bridge at a time. Admittance is first come, first serve for walk up visitors; however, reservations can be made. Guests will enter and exit the walkway via temporary buildings while the adjacent visitor’s center is being completed. The Hualapai Tribe plans to issue numbered shoe covers, in order to avoid scratches and slipping, to each visitor that enters the open-air walkway.

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