by Hatch Stamping Hatch Stamping

Welcome!

Today is June 18, 2020.  Even though many of us are already experiencing extremely warm and beautiful weather – we still as of this writing have  1 day 15 hours and 34 minutes left until summer officially begins!  We hope this posting finds you enjoying the great summer-like weather and you are able to enjoy the great outdoors.  Check out today’s Health and Wellness post and we hope you are not afraid of heights!  The Grand Canyon is a magnificent site and the skywalk is an incredible structure.

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Health and Wellness

It may look like it defies gravity, but the Grand Canyon Skywalk adheres to all the laws of physics and supports the weight of hundreds of thousands of visitors each year!

When David Jin, a Las Vegas businessperson, visited the Grand Canyon in 1996 and looked out over the Rim, he was struck by a flash of inspiration. Soon after, he began working with a team of experts from design and engineering firms Lochsa Engineering and MRJ Architects to devise an ingenious cantilever design that would provide unencumbered views of the Grand Canyon with no direct support from underneath.

The Skywalk is supported by eight columns that in turn support box beams that are six feet tall, 32 inches wide, with two inch thick walls. These box beams are anchored 45 feet deep into the red limestone bedrock of the West Rim, which can support a whopping 16,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, to act as the counterweights for the u-shaped glass bridge.

The Skywalk itself is supported by tuned mass dampers that reduce the normal vibrations caused by wind and people. They also help distribute the weight of the bridge.

Construction of the Skywalk began on October 6, 2004, when the Hualapai blessed the site. Drilling began one month later, and would take 18 months to complete. It took an additional four months to weld the 40 foot beams that would be used to create the Skywalk and truck them to the construction site in Arizona. 

The Skywalk was assembled at the Rim and rolled into place using the same rod and plate method the ancient Egyptians are thought to have used to build the great pyramids. The glass panels that make up the Skywalk’s transparent floor were then lifted into place using special manipulators designed to lift the heavy panels – the glass floor weighs over 80,000 lbs! – using large suction cups. Each glass panel can hold up to 800 people at any given time, and there are 46 glass panels!

In the end, it took over four years, $30 million, and hundreds of highly skilled workers to build this truly spectacular engineering marvel. The Skywalk opened in 2007.