One Of The World’s Craziest Projects: The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Your Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hoover Dam

I don’t give much merit to email forwards, who does? But a friend of mine recently sent a bunch of pictures of the Hoover Dam. As the pictures slowly opened, one by one, I was taken aback. These pictures were not only of the dam, but of the colossal bypass bridge that is under construction at the site. I had no idea this was even a thought.  I had a number of reactions I’d like to share with you.

  1. Wow. It’s a wonder of modern engineering, and could/should be an attraction itself (comments here make it seem to be already).
  2. Seriously? It further ruins the natural integrity of the canyon and obstructs any view of the dam.
  3. “Rubberneck Highway.” I can’t imagine this will be one of the more safer bridges in the country (although precautions have been made).
  4. Really? How necessary was this project?
  5. Beautiful. The smooth lines of the arch spanning the beautiful Colorado River is, like the dam itself, a beautiful piece of concrete artwork.
  6. Bungee!

We’d like to hear your reactions to the project. Where among the spectrum I experienced, do you fall (I’m settling into #5, I think)? Weigh in with your comments below.

A little background.

Construction began in 2005 and should be completed in 2010. The bridge, less than one half kilometer from the dam, is now about 85% complete and figures say the cost is at about 78 million dollars (just over 20 million for the highway, apart from the bridge). On August 27, 2009 the concrete arch became free standing, joining the two sides together. The official name of the bridge is the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and some recent, fairly stunning, pictures you can find right here.

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