GLEN CANYON BRIDGE under construction

Once upon a time the U.S.A. was capable of setting goals and then achieving them. That is the country of my youth. Super highways and bridges were built by the government because they were the right thing to do. We went into space and out of that new technology was created that helped people all over the world. Civil rights and poverty were taken on by people who believed we were one nation.

These days ignorance is worn as a badge of honor. Well educated people are snidely referred to by the ignorant as the elites, when really the elites are the 1% who hold the purse strings and the puppet strings of the ignorant.

These thoughts come about because of this weeks Sepia Saturday image which reminds me of what we were once capable of as a country. Okay, I'll also admit when I look at the Sepia Saturday photo I can hear the Bangles singing Walk Like an Egyptian.

The following photos show the building of the Glen Canyon Bridge in Arizona with a film processing date of November 1959 and were in the Ten Buck Box.

Click on any image to see it larger.

The bridge was built in order to aid in the building of the Glen Canyon Dam. Now I'm not going to say whether or not the building of the dam and the destruction of Glen Canyon was a good thing to do. It's done and will likely never be undone.
The absence of rail facilities near the construction site of Glen Canyon Dam necessitated construction of Glen Canyon Bridge for the transportation of construction materials and equipment from railheads to the site. A single-span, steel-arch structure, the bridge has an overall length of 1,271 feet. At its completion in 1959, it was the highest arch bridge in the world and the second longest of its type in the United States. The bridge spans the Colorado River 865 feet downstream from the dam. The deck of the bridge is 700 feet above river level. (SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior)
Before the bridge was built it required a drive of 200 miles to get to the other side of the Colorado River.
On October 15, 1956, the first blast occurred and the construction of Glen Canyon Dam was officially underway. Before that date, the site was virtually inaccessible and construction crews were forced to drive 200 miles to cross from one side of Glen Canyon to the other.

The remote location was selected for the project by a group of Bureau of Reclamation engineers and geologist working from 1946 to 1948. The site met several criteria: the area forming the basin could contain an immense amount of water; the canyon walls and bedrock foundation were strong and stable enough to safely support the high dam; and a large source of good rock and sand was available at nearby Wahweap Creek.

By 1959, the Glen Canyon Bridge was completed permitting the trucks to deliver equipment and materials for the dam and the new town of Page, Arizona. (SOURCE: Canyon Country)
For awhile this bridge was one of the highest in the world. It now ranks, according to this list at Wikipedia, at number 28.

Construction on the dam began in 1956 and was not completed until 1966. Lady Bird Johnson, dedicated the dam on September 22, 1966.

To read more about the bridge and dam click here to go to Wikipedia.

Here's a video I found on YouTube created by "Hoosier Tim's Travel Videos" showing the dam and the bridge.


  1. This is the sort of post I enjoy. Engineering related and a project and bridge that is new to me. I don't suppose I'll ever get the chance to see the canyon or the bridge. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing a post about Glen Canyon Bridge...life would not be what it is today without our bridges....what an interesting post, thanks so much!

  3. Great post! I love it when I learn something. And I agree with you -- it does seem like this country is just spinning its wheels, unable to accomplish anything. Perhaps there's too many people who ask "What's in it for me?" instead of "What's in it for us?" Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  4. I have to admit, I would love to be able to visit Gen Canyon before the dam.

  5. Some thoughtful words and linked so well to some fascinating images. It never ceases to amaze me what people can do with these daft prompts I keep throwing out.

  6. It's so interesting to see the construction of somewhere that's now established.

  7. Now we need to spend money repairing the bridges and highways that have already been built.

  8. for better or for worse, it is still an impressive structure with a certain appeal. one i'll never stand on as i would most likely crap my pants...

    but thanx 4 sharing!!

  9. Thanks folks.

    The space program will be missed, but like all things there's no drive in this country to do it anymore.

    So as I drive around bigger and deeper potholes which the county can no longer afford to repair, I'll feel more and more that I'll be needing a lunar rover just to drive to the store.

    Priorities in this country have been hijacked.