For anyone who gets a chance to visit the Grand Canyon, one of the attraction points always remain going once to the Grand Canyon Skywalk which is a hanging bridge above the Colorado river in the western part of the Grand Canyon in the US state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon Skywalk Bridge is horseshoe shaped and has a base of glass. It got opened for public in the year 2007 and was made on the initiative of the Hualapai Indian Tribe who also manages the Skywalk.
The cantilever Grand Canyon Skywalk is situated at a height of 4,770 feet and the height difference between the bridge and the river is 1,160 feet. The concept of this kind of a bridge on the Grand Canyon was given by David Jinohipadhus who was an entrepreneur of Hualapai tribe and was brought in to shape by architect Mark Ross Johnson. Starting from the supporting wall of the Grand Canyon, the platform of the Skywalk protrudes out till 70 feet. It has a width of 65 feet and the anchors which support the bridge are made of concrete and high strength steel. The flooring of the Skywalk is made of low iron glass and so is the railing which is made of glass and is 5 feet 2 inches tall. The entire structure of the Grand Canyon Skywalk is so designed such that it can stand the high speed winds at that height and also withstand the seismic movements.
According to the Hualapai Indian Tribe, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is to be turned in to a complex which is supposed to have a museum, theatre, a VIP lounge, gift shops, restaurants and other leisure option. The cost which went in to the making of the Grand Canyon Skywalk alone was $31 million and it is referred to as just a cornerstone of the whole Grand Canyon West project. With this project the Hualapai Tribe aims to put about 9,000 acres of land to use which can attract more number of tourists to the region so that the factors of employment of the people of the tribe and also the raising of finance for the maintenance of the place can be taken care of.
With such a big project in foresight a number of concerns regarding the threat to the national treasure are being raised by the environmentalists of Arizona and also some earlier officials of the Grand Canyon National Park. However, the people of the tribe have their own defence to counter these arguments.
For the tourists there are two ways of reaching the Grand Canyon Skywalk. They can either drive from Las Vegas in the North or can drive from Kingman in the south. Both these ways merge together when they meet the soiled Diamond Bar Road which is in the process of modification for the tourists. There are tourist bus packages to the Grand Canyon Skywalk and the Hualapai Ranch which are available at the airports. In addition, there are also facilities of hiring photographers at the Grand Canyon Skywalk as personal cameras are not allowed.