We went to Hoover Dam last week. We'd been there before but it is still an astounding sight. We hadn't seen the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (Colorado River Bridge). Construction on the nearly 2,000 foot long bridge (with a 1,060 foot twin-rib concrete arch) began in late January 2005 and traffic began using the Hoover Dam Bypass on October 19, 2010. This signature bridge spans the Black Canyon (about 1,500 feet south of the Hoover Dam), connecting the Arizona and Nevada Approach highways nearly 900-feet above the Colorado River.
The 9-11 terrorist attacks quickly made it clear that Hoover Dam wasn't just a traffic bottleneck and safety hazard but also a target.
Commercial traffic was immediately banned from U.S. 93 across Hoover Dam, forcing a 75-mile detour. The urgency to build the bridge accelerated.
- The highest and longest arched concrete bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
- The second-highest bridge of any kind in the United States and 14th in the world.
- The world's tallest concrete columns of their kind.
But what sets the bridge apart most of all is the setting.
It is perched 890 feet above the turquoise Colorado River, wedged between rock cliffs that form Black Canyon, with commanding views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.
James Stillings has an amazing site with fantastic photos of the dam.
I took this photo for my geeky friends - you know who you are!
Two time zones depending where you are on the bridge - Arizona or Nevada