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| 2010-05-28 | admin |

 

 Creeping closer inch by inch,900 feet above the

mighty Colorado River,the two sides of 
a $160 million bridge at the Hoover Dam slowly take

shape.  The bridge will carry a new 
section of  US Route 93 past the bottleneck of the

old road which can be seen twisting and 
winding around and across the dam itself.
 
When complete, it will provide a new link between

the states of Nevada and Arizona. 
In an incredible feat of engineering, the road will be

 supported on the two massive 
concrete arches which jut out of the rock face.
 
The arches are made up of 53 individual sections each

24 feet long which have been 
cast on-site and are being lifted into place using an

improvised high-wire crane strung 
between temporary steel pylons.
 
The arches will eventually measure more than 1,000

feet across. At the moment, the structure looks like

a traditional suspension bridge.  
But once the arches are complete, the suspending

cables on each side will be removed. 
Extra vertical columns will then be installed on the

arches to carry the road.The bridge has become

known as the Hoover Dam bypass, although it is

officially called the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman

Memorial Bridge, after a former governor of Nevada 
and an American Football player from Arizona who

joined the US Army and was killed in Afghanistan.
Work on the bridge started in 2005 and should finish

next year. An estimated 17,000 
cars and trucks will cross it every day.
 
The dam was started in 1931 and used enough

concrete to build a road from New York  
to San Francisco. The stretch of water it created, 

Lake Mead, is 110 miles long and 
took six years to fill. The original road was opened

at the same time as the famous dam in 1936.
 
 An extra note: The top of the white band of rock

in Lake Mead is the old waterline prior 
to the drought and development in the Las Vegas

area. It is over 100 feet above the 
current water level...