The Upper Footbridge

Source: Terry Edwards
Undated and the spell-checker must have been broke. :)Source unknown and photo is undated

This is a longer post than most of my others and there are several pictures. Make sure you see them all. Before and during the construction of Glen Canyon Bridge, the footbridge served as a means for foot traffic (and evidently, at least one VW Beetle) to get from one side of the canyon to the other. The footbridge was located a short distance upstream from the dam – far enough upstream to not interfere with the construction. It’s visible in several of the photos I’ve posted and I’ve mentioned it a few times in different posts. This post is solely about the upper footbridge and there are several pictures.

I don’t know the source of this first picture below or the date, but it’s a great shot of the bridge that gives you a good idea of the size and scope. This bridge was completed in 60 days.

Source unknown and photo is undated

That’s a sweet picture isn’t it. That was no small task for something that would be temporary. There’s a big part of me that wishes it was still there. Here’s another view from ground level that shows some of the parking and a dry Wahweap bay in the background.

Source: Terry Edwards
Dated February, 1959

The photo below must have been on a postcard or other advertisement originally. I don’t remember where I got it and it’s not dated.

Source: unknown
Undated photo

I have an 8mm home movie clip of this bridge that looks down through the grating at the dam work site below. It’s short, but pretty cool. If I can salvage it and convert it to something electronic, I’ll post it for everyone one of these days.

We’re not done yet. I have two more upper footbridge photos to show you before we’re finished with this post. This first one is my favorite. It catches a perfect moment. I think you’ll like it too.

Source: unknown

Cool, isn’t it? I thought you would like it. This last clip below is from a 1958 issue of Civil Engineering magazine and gives us some good information about the bridge.



12 thoughts on “The Upper Footbridge

  1. Salt Lake TV occasionally shows a short movie on the construction of the Glen Canyon project and when Mack Ward talks about the footbridge, he makes it sound like there were no sides on the bridge. That is not true. There were sides (kinda looked like chickenwire but you were still enclosed plus there was a big cable at the top of the chickenwire fence, so there was something to hold on to if you so desired (which I did.)


    • actually when it was first built there were no sides on it. My dad used to take a Cushman scooter across the bridge with propane bottles to the mancamp and it was a very scarey crossing. Mom and dad wouldn’t let us out on the bridge before they got the sides up.


    • Mrs. L. (can I still call you that?), it’s always a good day when you stop by. Did the footbridge pics jostle some good memories?


  2. Mike,

    Do you have any early pictures of the walking bridge prior to when the sides were installed. It probably wasn’t up long before they were done, but I do remember dad taking a Cushman scooter across the bridge with propane tanks to the man camp and they wouldn’t let us go out on it when there were no sides.


    • Tim, these are all I have other than a couple of blurry ones I posted when I first started his blog. You might want to look at those and see if you can tell. -Mike


    • That the sides were an afterthought is comforting. It would be nice to see some home movies of the bridge. I have one that is in some weird format, but it’s really blurry.


  3. My dad started working as a High Scaler/driller/power man in 1957, The family went to visit Dad and Grandfather in 1957. I remember Dad showing us the foot bridge and was able to walk the foot bridge. There had to be sides on it at the time. We had to turn off at the Gap and drive approx. 50 miles dirt road to Page. Coppermine had a store at the time.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.