The sides of the 1896 foot-long arch for the Colorado River Bridge, the central part of the 3.5-mile Hoover Dam Bypass Project in Nevada, are coming together despite setbacks. Its 1060-foot concrete arch span will be longest in the United State and fourth longest in the world. Link-up is expected in September or sooner. Some 900 feet above the river, the bridge will carry a new section of US Route 93 past the bottleneck old road, which crosses the dam. The new bridge opens to traffic in 2010, two years overdue.
Completion was set back when high winds in Sep 2006 toppled the pulley-type "high-line" crane system. The project was started under former president George W. Bush in 2005. Bridge milestones can expect significant media attention because they exemplify the kind of economic stimulus project Bush's successor, President Barak Obama, has in mind to get the United States out of recession. The spectacular setting of the bridge -- it spans the Black Canyon some 1600 feet south of the Hoover Dam -- and its ambitious engineering and history of setbacks also add to its newsworthiness. The bridge will provide a new link between the states of Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam was the biggest dam project in the world when it was completed. Named after then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, it was constructed by some 20,000 workers for the Bureau of Reclamation in the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s. It was the largest federal project of its time. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the dam on 30 Sep 1935. Jul/2009 Estimated date
Date written/update: 2009-08-15