Editorial: Grand Canyon Skywalk won't last long

"Perched ominously on the west rim of the Grand Canyon, the much-hyped Skywalk was inaugurated Tuesday. It's a $30 million tourist trap that mars one of the planet's astounding natural landmarks.

The glass-bottomed observation deck juts 70 feet from the edge of the canyon. It offers a view 4,000 feet down to the canyon floor - a vantage point twice as high as the world's tallest building.

It's being touted as an engineering marvel, but we're among those who are suspicious that the contraption will stand the test of time.

Delores Honta, a Hualapai tribal member, believes the walkway's lifespan is only 15 to 20 years. "Our ground is very dry. It will not stay together. You're drilling holes and letting hot and cold air into it," she told National Geographic News.

In the same article, Mark Johnson of Las Vegas-based MRJ Architects, designer of the walkway, said that the rock wall, not the walkway's design, is the wild card that could determine the Skywalk's life span.

"At that height, the wall is made of 350 million-year-old limestone - porous material that is highly prone to erosion," the article said.

Millions of years of erosion, of course, is what have created the unspoiled beauty of the Grand Canyon."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tourist Skywalk not so grand (The Denver Post 3/21)

Relevant Links:
Grand Canyon Skywalk - http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com
Grand Canyon West - http://www.destinationgrandcanyon.com/indexe.html
Grand Canyon - http://www.nps.gov/grca

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