PHOTOS Construction continues on the Hoover Dam Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Hoover Dam Bypass under construction in 2009

You have to see these stunning images from the ongoing Hoover Dam Bypass construction. Now known as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, it spans the Colorado River 1,600 feet downstream from the Hoover Dam and will connect the states of Nevada and Arizona via U.S. Route 93. The final cost of the bridge will be an estimated $240 million and it’s on course to be completed in August 2010 and open for traffic in November 2010. Once opened, the current Hoover Dam roadway will be closed to through traffic.

According to wikipedia, the bridge will be the first “so-called concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States.” After weighing many factors, including a desire for the bridge to complement the Hoover Dam aesthetically, the concrete-steel composite design was agreed upon with the arch and columns made of concrete “with steel construction for the roadway deck.”

Construction photo of the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge

Apparently the old dam roadway is a little small for the amount of traffic going between Phoenix and Las Vegas on a daily basis, not to mention the tourism the dam itself generates. Cars traversing the new bridge will not be able to see the dam, but there will be vantage points for pedestrians to take in the awesome dam view. (That was fun to type!)

Click thumbnails to see larger images in the gallery. Click the gallery images for super-sized images.

Photos: Barcroft/Fame Pictures

In addition to construction photos, there are images of what the bridge is projected to look like once it is complete:

The completed Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Though I’ve never actually been to the Hoover Dam, I’ve been mystified by it ever since I saw the amazing documentary on it’s construction as part of the PBS series The American Experience. (CLICK HERE to check it out on amazon.) They constructed entire towns and built factories just for the construction of the dam. (I think some of them are at the bottom of Lake Meade.) Amazing and literally wonderful documentary. Perhaps there will be a similar one called The American Experience: The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

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