Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge Completed

Opening to traffic this week, the bridge was dedicated Oct. 14 and is the longest single-span concrete arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dedicated the new Hoover Dam Bypass bridge on Oct. 14, calling it "proof positive that America is not afraid to dream big." More than 1,000 workers who helped build it were on hand for the dedication ceremony. The 1,900-foot bridge opens to traffic this week, easing congestion on U.S. 93 across the dam.

Named the "Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge," it is the longest single-span concrete arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere and is part of a $240 million, four-lane bypass, according to DOT.

"The jobs supported by this project are undeniable, and its economic benefits to the American Southwest and the nation as a whole will be felt for generations to come," LaHood said. The project's planning began in the 1980s, but construction began in 2002. It is about 40 miles east of Las Vegas.

After Sept. 11, 2001, commercial trucks were banned from traveling across the top of the dam. This requires truck drivers to use a 75-mile detour, causing higher shipping costs and adding delays.

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