Hoover Dam and Bypass Bridge
"You're going to be disappointed in the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge,” I warned the Little Woman. Boy was I wrong!
Let me clarify. Driving across the new bridge is a complete yawn. The bridge is eight hundred feet above the Colorado River and the gorgeous canyon it cuts through, but the safety walls are so high, the view is obscured.
I say reduce the height of that safety wall, let a few people die a year and the rest of us can enjoy the view! Okay, maybe not.
However, as we rode across, Sherri pointed to the side. “Look at those people walking along the bridge. There must be access somewhere.”
Yep. On the Nevada side, a path zigzags up the rock to the bridge, with wonderful educational signs along the way.
We love educational signs. We read them.
These describe the construction of the bridge, a fascinating story, as the logistics of constructing a bridge in a rock canyon was so daunting. Fortunately for me, I was able to witness the construction, as I stopped by every few months to gape in awe at the feats of engineering that the contractor performed to build the bridge.
Funny, they didn’t talk about the completion of the bridge being behind schedule for two years, as a crane fell into the river during high winds. Hmmm. The rest of the erection was a construction marvel, anyway.
Although the bridge is eight hundred feet above the river, the Little Woman (who isn’t wild about heights) showed no trepidation about walking across the bridge. At the center, the bridge affords never before vistas of the Hoover Dam.
Contrarily, the dam affords fabulous views of the bridge. Let’s build two engineering marvels that can look at one another in awe! Now, traffic flows freely across the bridge, with no ‘strip search’ stops for potential terrorist threats. Cars and trucks zip along the bridge, while tourists meander down to the dam at a snail’s pace, stopping for a pat down. Okay, maybe not. But a look over, anyway.
Heading back to Las Vegas, we encountered a huge surprise.
Huge traffic tie ups.
Apparently the bridge is such a better route to Arizona, the entire world leaves Las Vegas on Sundays and heads that way. Traffic backed up to Railroad Pass!
I understand the Boulder City residents are not happy with the new configuration. There is talk of a bypass, but it’s just that. And that could take awhile. One sign we encountered indicated they started talking about building the bridge in the 60s!
Nonetheless, the bridge is a wonderful addition to the dam/river area.