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Smooth ride: Road to Grand Canyon Skywalk finally paved

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Getting to the Grand Canyon Skywalk used to include a teeth-chattering drive over a washboard road fraught with dips and twists.

But motorists will have a smoother drive to the Hualapai Tribe's most popular tourist destination because the Diamond Bar Road is paved.

The road was the biggest drawback in reaching the Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts out 70 feet from the canyon walls. Tour operators had complained of broken windows, flat tires and missing hubcaps.

Paving the final 9-mile stretch cost more than $30 million and came after years of legal battles with a local dude rancher. A ceremony is planned Tuesday to mark completion of the project.

Some 700,000 people visit Grand Canyon West each year, outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park.

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