Hualapai Tribe finishing paving road to Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Skywalk at Grand Canyon West Tuesday, May 3, 2011 just after the glass panels were replaced.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

An aerial tour of the Grand Canyon. Launch slideshow »

The Hualapai Tribe is on track to complete a paving project that would ease the drive between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon West.

The tribe announced Tuesday that it is accepting road construction bids for the second phase of a paving project for Diamond Bar Road, near Dolan Springs in northwestern Arizona.

The 8.7-mile project would complete a 14-mile stretch of the road leading to the tribe’s resort and its signature attraction, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a 70-foot glass walkway that extends from the canyon rim 4,000 feet high.

Tribal officials said bids would be accepted through Jan. 24, and construction is expected to take 18 months.

The first phase of the road was completed in 2010 after nearly 20 years of legal disputes between the tribe and ranch owner Nigel Turner.

Turner operated his own tourist attraction and didn’t want the additional traffic that would be generated by a paved road. Turner wanted to maintain the rustic flavor of his dude ranch with the existing dirt road.

The tribe operates daily bus trips from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West over the rough, dusty road that adds about 30 minutes to a two-hour trip. The tribe said tours would continue during construction and that a contract requirement would be to keep traffic delays at less than 15 minutes.

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  1. After screwing over the man who built the Skywalk for $20 million, Do the Indians really think anyone will trust them to do business with again?