Grand Canyon Skywalk

Posted by batman on Oct 15th, 2009
2009
Oct 15

skywalk01.jpg

Extract from the Official Site

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is an architectural marvel. The Skywalk was completed in March 2007 after 2.5 years and 30 million dollars worth of hard work and engineering. This structure weighs an astonishing 1.571 million pounds, and was built to withstand an excess of 71 million pounds in weight on top of it. (That’s the equivalent of 71 fully-loaded 747 airliners piled one on top of the other!)

This amazing ability to withstand weight as well as the forces of nature is due to the Skywalk’s 2 inch thick steel frame which is designed specifically to flex in the heat, cold, and wind. This frame is anchored to the Grand Canyon by casens and micro piles measuring 46 feet down into the solid bedrock.

The specially-made German glass which forms the platform for our guests to walk the experience also plays a big part in the durability and beauty of Skywalk. Each of the 46 panes forming the walkway are constructed of 5-layers of glass bonded together and laminated, weighing in at 1,200 lbs a piece, and making the glass incredibly strong while still providing a crystal-clear view of the canyon below.

skywalk03.jpg

Extract from Wikipedia

The Skywalk protrudes 20 metres beyond the edge of the canyon. The walls and floor are built from glass 50.8 mm thick. The glass appears tinted on both edges; however, this is a protective cushioning for the glass. This running along the sides can be used as a sort of safe zone by nervous visitors. While the Skywalk is capable of holding 70 tons of weight (the equivalent of 800 people weighing 80 kg each), the permitted capacity is limited to 200 persons. Visitors are provided with shoe covers to protect them from slipping and to prevent the glass floor from being scratched.

Construction began in March 2004. It was rolled onto the edge of the canyon on March 7, 2007, after passing several days of testing to replicate weather, strength, and endurance conditions of its final destination. The structure was built to withstand up to 160 km/h winds and a magnitude 8 earthquake. Tuned mass dampers were used to minimize vibration from wind and pedestrians.

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High Definition Image

View this extraordinary image of the Skywalk – 14,647 × 6,001 pixels, file size: 43.43 MB




References:

http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon_Skywalk

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Grandcanyon_skywalk_hd.jpg


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