Posts Tagged ‘skywalk’

Grand Canyon Skywalk

May 16, 2011

Walk where eagles dare to fly. Carved by the Colorado River more than million years ago, the Grand Canyon captures the hearts of visitors with its magnificent splendor. Located at the canyon’s west rim, the Grand Canyon Skywalk allows visitors to “Walk the Sky” on its unique glass bottomed observation deck that spans 70 feet (21.34 M) over the canyon’s rim and sits 4,000 feet (1,219 M) above the Colorado River. A construction masterpiece, the glass deck, which is the only element that
separates visitors from the canyon floor, weighs 1.2 million pounds. Completed in 2007, the Skywalk is located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation in northwest Arizona.  David Jin envisioned the idea of extending a glass bottom observation deck directly over the edge of the Grand Canyon, and presented his idea to the Hualapai Tribe. As a result, the Skywalk was developed and allows for a bird’s eye view of the tribe’s sacred canyon formation known as Eagle Point or Sa nyu wa, which means “eagle” in the Hualapai language. The bridge deck, constructed with diamant low-iron glass and structural  nterlayer glass consisting of six layers, is ten feet-two inches (3.11 M) wide. Bridge glass railings were made with the same glass as the deck but with three layers bent to follow the walkway’s curvature. The glass railings are five feet-two inches (1.58 M) tall and have been designed for high wind pressures. The bridge was assembled on top of the canyon wall in line with its final placement. The Skywalk bridge deck was designed for a one hundred pound per  square foot live load along with code required seismic and wind forces. Design aspects included wind loading and pedestrian induced vibration analysis. Two tuned mass dampers inside the outer box beam as well as one inside the inner box beam at the furthest extension of the bridge were installed to reduce vibration induced by pedestrian footfall. The bridge weighs a little more than one million pounds (454,545 kg) without counterweights but including the tuned mass dampers, railing hardware, glass rails, glass deck and steel box beams. The walkway can carry 822 people that weigh two hundred pounds (91 kg), but maximum allowed occupancy at one time is 120 people. Skywalk engineer, Kenneth Karren discussed Skywalk glass with St. Gobain (Germany), who claimed that it could stop a bullet. Karren requested a sample of the glass be sent to Las Vegas for him to test. St. Gobain obliged, and Karren took the glass into the desert outside Las Vegas and shot the glass with his rifle from one hundred yards. The glass stopped the bullet and the overall structure of the glass remained intact.  Adjacent to the Skywalk, the Hualapai Tribe provides tribal song and dance performances in an outdoor amphitheater, as well as handcrafted arts and jewelry. Visitors can dine at the Skywalk café. Future plans for the Grand Canyon Skywalk complex include a museum, theater, VIP lounge, gift shop, and a restaurant where visitors will be able to dine outdoors at the canyon’s rim.

Grand Canyon Skywalk Mailing Address Administrative Offices 5985 W. Wigwam Ave Las Vegas, NV 89139

Tel: 702-220-8372 Fax 702- 220-8517 Web site: www.grandcanyonskywalk.com

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