The next time you visit Grand Canyon Skywalk in northwestern Arizona and marvel at how the semicircular bridge that juts out over the gorge has avoided breaking off and sliding nearly 4,000 feet into the abyss below, thank Pomona-based specialty drilling contractor D.J. Scheffler & Nye Inc.
The 36-year-old company installed the pilings that anchor the bridge to the sandstone cliff. The “micro-pilings” that D.J. Scheffler combined with a special high-strength cement grout have kept the bridge in place since it opened in 2007. Thanks in part to the pilings and the cement, the bridge has the capacity to bear 35,000 tons of weight and withstand winds up to 100 miles per hour.
“Everything about that project was challenging,” company owner and President Dale Scheffler said. “Drilling into a 3,000-foot sandstone cliff, withstanding those ferocious winds, and — above all — the sheer remoteness of the site that required us to haul all our equipment up 20 miles of dirt road.”
But for Scheffler and his specialized foundation drilling and slope repair company, such challenging projects are the bread and butter of the business. He doesn’t even consider the Skywalk project his most challenging.
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