Skip to main content

Throwback Thursday; Glen Canyon Dam and the Glen Canyon Bridge/US Route 89

Back in 2012 I was out in Northern Arizona finishing up some loose ends in the Arizona state highway system.  On my short list was routes I needed to finish was US Route 89 which required crossing Glen Canyon Dam.






Glen Canyon is a 710 (only slightly shorter than Hoover Dam) foot talk concrete arch-gravity dam near the town of Page which was built along the Colorado River between 1956 and 1966.  Glen Canyon Dam forms the large reservoir known as Lake Powell which has the second largest storage capacity in the United States only behind Lake Mead.  Lake Powell became part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area when it was created in 1972. 

At the beginning of the Glen Canyon Dam construction project the area around Glen Canyon was uninhabited.  US 89 at the time to the south over the Navajo Bridge near Marble Canyon.  The Arizona Highway System in 1956 can be seen on this map.

1956 State Highway Map

Construction on the Glen Canyon Bridge began in 1957 and was completed by 1959.  The Glen Canyon Bridge is steel arch design 1,271 in length.  The Glen Canyon Bridge is more known for it's huge 700 foot clearance above the waters of the Colorado River.




Upon the completion of the Glen Canyon Bridge main line US 89 was shifted onto it.  The former routing over the Navajo Bridge became US Route 89A.  Oddly on the Utah side the routing of US 89A was signed as Utah State Route 11 until fairly recently.  The new routing of US 89 over Glen Canyon Bridge can be seen on this 1961 Sectional Map of Arizona.

1961 Arizona Highway Sectional Map

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages