Hoover Dam Bridge History and Why It’s Worth Visiting This Winter
The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, also known as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, is a concrete arch-gravity dam that spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada. Completed in 2010, it is considered one of the most impressive engineering feats of the 21st century.
History of Hoover Dam
The history of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge dates back to the early 20th century when the Hoover Dam was built to control the flow of the Colorado River and provide hydroelectric power to the surrounding area. The dam was a massive undertaking, requiring the construction of a large concrete structure that would stand 726 feet tall and stretch 1,244 feet across the river.
Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931 and was completed in 1935, at a cost of over $49 million. The dam was not only a major engineering achievement but also a symbol of American ingenuity and determination.
The original Hoover Dam bridge became a pivotal transportation route between Arizona and Nevada. As traffic increased, the route became dangerous and congested, leading to the decision to build a new bypass bridge.
Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
Construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge began in 2005 and was completed in 2010. The bridge spans 1,900 feet across the Colorado River, providing a much-needed and safer alternative to the original road on the dam.
The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge was designed to withstand the harsh desert climate and the strong winds of the Colorado River gorge. It was also built to withstand earthquakes and the weight of thousands of vehicles. The bridge’s design incorporates a concrete arch-gravity structure, which adds to its aesthetic appeal and makes it extremely stable and durable.
One of the most striking features of the bridge is its height. The bridge towers 890 feet above the Colorado River, providing visitors with spectacular views of the surrounding desert landscape and the Hoover Dam. The bridge’s pedestrian walkway, which is open to the public, offers an unparalleled perspective of the dam and the river below.
It’s important to point out that the iconic bridge serves as a memorial to Mike O’Callaghan and Pat Tillman, two individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective states. Mike O’Callaghan, a former Governor of Nevada, played a key role in the construction of the bridge, while Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who was killed in action while serving in the US Army, embodies the spirit of selflessness and sacrifice. The bridge is a fitting tribute to both individuals and serves as a reminder of their legacy.
Why Winter is the Best Time To Visit
Visiting the Hoover Dam Bridge during the winter months is particularly special as it offers a unique pitstop for those looking to see the Hoover Dam from a different angle. The cool temperatures and clear skies provide an ideal setting for photography and sightseeing. Visitors can also take advantage of the shorter lines and fewer crowds that are typically found in the cooler months, making it an ideal time to visit the bridge and take in the stunning views.
Overall, the Hoover Dam Bridge is a fascinating and impressive engineering feat that is well worth visiting. Its history, stunning views and accessibility make it a great destination for any history buff, engineering enthusiast or nature lover. Whether you’re visiting in the winter or any other season, a trip to the Hoover Dam Bridge is sure to be a memorable experience.
While you’re nearby, we recommend checking out all that Lake Mead National Recreation Area has to offer. There’s plenty to do including hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, camping and even rafting! Lake Mead Mohave Adventures offers several campsites, RV sites and marinas near Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. If you’d like to get a closer look at the Hoover Dam and its bridge, we highly advise booking a rafting tour with Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures.
You’re bound to have fun outdoors no matter what you do, especially during the winter months. Contact us today to plan your visit!