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Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, USA

March 22nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a tourist attraction, commissioned by the Hualapai Indian tribe, unveiled March 20, 2007 and to be opened to the public on March 28, 2007, along the Colorado River on the edge of the Grand Canyon in the U.S. state of Arizona. The Skywalk will be charging $25 per person in addition to other entry fees.

The glass bridge is suspended 4,000 feet (1 219 meters) above the canyon, a height that eclipses the world's largest skyscrapers. The bridge's walls and floor are built of glass 4 inches (10.2 cm) thick. The horseshoe shaped bridge protrudes 65 (20 meters) feet from the edge of the canyon. The Skywalk is able to hold 7 tons of weight, allowing for 800 people weighing 175 lbs. (80 kg) each to stand on the bridge. The allowed capacity, though, will be limited to only 120 persons. All visitors will be provided with shoe covers to protect them from slipping and to prevent scratching of the glass floor.

In addition to tuned mass dampers used to minimize vibration from wind and pedestrians, the bridge was built to withstand up to 100 mph winds and a magnitude 8 earthquake. The glass bridge construction of the Skywalk began in March 2004. It was rolled onto the edge of the canyon on March 7, 2007 after passing several days of final testing to replicate weather, strength and endurance conditions of its final destination. According to Hualapai officials, the cost of the Skywalk alone will exceed $40 million.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk complex will also include a museum, movie theater, VIP lounge, gift shop, and several restaurants including a high-end restaurant called The Skywalk Café where visitors will be able to dine outdoors at the canyon's rim. It is the cornerstone of a larger plan by the tribe, which they hope will be the catalyst for a 9,000-acre development to be called Grand Canyon West: it would open up a long-inaccessible 100-mile stretch of countryside along the canyon's South Rim and include hotels, restaurants, a golf course and a cable car to ferry visitors from the canyon rim to the Colorado River. The tribe partnered with Las Vegas-based businessman David Jin to raise the money for the project in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

[Source: Wikipedia]


Send by: T.H. Murray

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