Originally Published: May 3, 2013 9:59 p.m.
Prescott-based Fann Contracting has had a business relationship with the Hualapai Tribal Nation in Mohave County for five years, and recently started paving the final nine miles of a road leading to Grand Canyon West.
"This is the fifth job we have done for the Hualapai Nation for the last five years," said Mike Fann, who co-owns the business with his son, Jason.
The Hualapai tribe awarded a $25 million contract to Fann to finish paving the stretch of Diamond Bar Road, which leads to the Canyon Skywalk tourist attraction at the rim of the tribe's portion of the Grand Canyon. His company paved 4.5 miles in 2010.
It is the midsection of Diamond Bar Road, Fann said. He added the project will entail realigning a large portion of the road and move 750,000 cubic yards of rock. "There are fills on the job as high as 50 feet," he said.
Fann said the project will take a year, adding he will hire about 80 people, both from Prescott and Hualapais.
The Fann project will replace a winding dirt road that is prone to floods, said Dave Cieslak, a spokesman for the tribe.
"It is a completely new road that is going to meet federal highway standards," Cieslak said.
He said he expects improved access to increase visits by 20 to 25 percent for the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped, glass bridge that juts out 70 feet from the canyon.
The busiest day occurred in December with 5,200 people, he said. An estimated 700,000 people visit Grand Canyon West each year.