GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – Beginning in mid-February the National Park Service started work on rehabilitating the pump houses at Indian Garden, as well as rehabilitation work to the Black Bridge near Phantom Ranch. Completion of both projects is anticipated in mid-April and may temporarily disrupt backcountry users in the interim.
At Indian Garden, crews will replace the roof-mounted HVAC units and the roofing system on both water pump houses. The replacement of the HVAC units is critical to ensure continued operation of the water pumps that supply water to the South Rim.
Replacing the roofs, which have deteriorated due to heat and a harsh environment, will help protect the integrity of the buildings. Bright Angel Trail has been temporarily rerouted from the construction area to maintain visitor safety.
Around March 7, National Park Service trails crew will rehabilitate the Black Bridge – also called the Kaibab Suspension Bridge – across the Colorado River. At the end of the South Kaibab Trail, the Black Bridge is used by hikers and mules to access the Phantom Ranch area and continue on the North Kaibab Trail.
The work on the Black Bridge will replace decking and wooden tread boards, which over time have become rutted and made the walking surface uneven. The trails crew last replaced the decking and tread boards in 2006. Work is anticipated to last until mid-April.
While crews complete the repairs, hikers may experience delays or detours; there is no anticipated bridge closure. Crews will time their work around the arrival of mule trains to allow unimpeded mule traffic.
For both repair projects, inner canyon trail users may experience detours, temporary delays, and noise and dust from equipment and helicopters. To reduce the number of helicopter flights, both projects will use a medium-lift helicopter to haul supplies and equipment. The park helicopter will also be used as needed.
Hikers, campers, and mule riders should listen to and follow directions from National Park Service staff as needed in the work zones.