In the 1870s, pioneers from Utah began to expand their settlements into northern Arizona. Nearly 600 miles of deep canyons along the Colorado River stood in their way. One of the only places a wagon could reach the river from both north and south was at the mouth of Glen Canyon. Since the area was accessible and was a natural corridor between Utah and Arizona, a ferry was established there in 1873. Named after the first ferry operator, John D. Lee, Lees Ferry became an important route for pioneers, settlers and local traffic. In the 1920s, automobiles began using the ferry as a means to cross the Colorado River. It soon became clear that it was time to find a safer, more reliable way for vehicles to cross. A bridge site was selected 5 miles downriver at Marble Canyon. On January 12, 1929, the Grand Canyon Bridge [at right in photo] was opened to traffic. At the time, it was the highest steel arch bridge in the world and made traveling between Utah and Arizona much easier. No longer did travelers have to contend with the moods of the Colorado River at Lees Ferry. In 1934, after much debate in the Arizona legislature, the official name was changed to Navajo Bridge. Navajo Bridge served the area well for 66 years. However, as automobiles and trucks became larger, wider, and heavier, and numerous accidents occurred at the bridge, the need for a stronger, wider bridge became evident. On May 2, 1995, the new Navajo Bridge [at left in photo] opened. The original bridge is now pedestrian-only.