The Left Key-Way

Photo: Probably USBR. Courtesy of Terry Edwards. Undated

Here’s a great look at the left (Page side) key-way for Glen Canyon Dam. The key-ways were the vertical cut outs in the canyon walls where the dam was anchored into the rock. You can see two rectangle tunnels in the key-way and a third one to the right. I’m not sure what that third one was for, but there were a total of four of the other tunnels spaced along both key-ways. As the dam was built, these were connected to walkways inside the dam that ran the full length of the dam from edge to edge. There was instrumentation placed in those tunnels to measure stability and movement, and probably a lot of other things I’m not aware of. But having been inside at least one of them once the dam was finished, I remember how cold, wet, and eerie it was. I can also still remember the smell – like wet concrete. But I digress.

The towers above were the mobile cranes that rode along tracks and could move back and forth to move materials, people, and dump concrete buckets during the construction of the dam. There were three more on the opposite side of the canyon, behind the photographer. On the right side of the key-way is an elevator that ran on vertical rails up and down the canyon wall. I remember watching that thing from the bridge as it shuffled people in and out of the canyon. It seems like there was another smaller one to the right of that one, but it’s all a blur. I’m not sure what the wooden structures at the top of the key-way were.



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.