Like it came out of the 1936 movie, Things to Come, based on the H.G. Wells’ novel The Shape of Things to Come, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is almost complete. Originally scheduled to open on New Year’s Day, it is now estimated to be completed by this summer.
This is big, cool idea: a glass bridge suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon’s south rim. Construction began in March 2004, and tests conducted in May 2005 found it passed engineering requirements by 400 percent. It can “withstand the weight of 71 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes (more that 71 million pounds)”, “sustain winds in excess of 100 miles per hour from 8 different directions”, and weather “an 8.0 magnitude earthquake within 50 miles.”
This project is an effort on the part of the Hualapai (WALL-ah-pie) tribe to create a multi-faceted tourist resort and revenue stream not dependent upon casino gaming, according to Snopes.com. More than one million pounds of steel will go into the construction of the Skywalk and it will cost about $30 million.
Once complete, visitors will be able to stroll on the 80-yard path along the semicircular platform, surrounded by Plexiglas to provide a stunning view of the canyon floor directly below. This futuristic attraction is part of a new Grand Canyon West resort the Hualapai are building on their reservation, which will also include an Indian village featuring traditional dwellings built by Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai and Havasupai craftsmen; an amphitheater hosting daily Native American dances; a luxury resort; and a 50-cabin campground able to accommodate 200 campsites and 200 recreation vehicles.
For more information, visit www.destinationgrandcanyon.com/indexe.html.