Designation as ASCE Historic Civil Engineering Monument
The formal ceremony adding the Historic Kaibab Trail Suspension Bridge to ASCE’s list of Historic Civil Engineering Monuments was held on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Two plaques commemorating the landmark have been placed: one in Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon 100 feet East of the Yavapai Geology Museum, and the second approximately 350 feet west of the north end of the Kaibab Trail Suspension Bridge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
At the time of its completion, the Kaibab Trail Suspension Bridge was the only crossing of the Colorado River in a distance of 754 miles from Moab, Utah to Needles, California. Due to the travel barrier of the Colorado River and its canyons, the bridge is still one of the few Colorado River crossings in the region. Except for a suspension bridge only one-half mile downstream, the Kaibab Trail Suspension Bridge is the only physical crossing of the Colorado River in 340 miles, between Navajo Bridge upstream and Hoover Dam downstream – both of which have previously been designated as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.
Built in 1928 and located within one of the seven natural wonders of the world—the Grand Canyon, the 440-foot single span suspension bridge crossing the Colorado River has fostered backcountry recreation and provides a connection between the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon. Since its completion, the bridge has served muleriding tourists, pack trains hauling supplies to Phantom Ranch, hikers, backpackers, Park Service and concessionaire employees. The bridge also provides a pathway that is five feet wide. The structure is suspended from four 550-foot-long
suspension cables and stabilized by two wind cables. Unmodified since its original construction, the bridge remains in service today and has an estimated 100,000 crossings a year.
The nomination for the Bridge was prepared by several volunteers with the Arizona Section of ASCE with special recognition to Johnathan Upchurch, whose effort was pivotal in obtaining the award.
Video of the Presentation of of the History of the bridge
Video of the Dedication Ceremony
A PDF final report of the Dedication Ceremony is available HERE.