Work in progress for the 2nd bridge connecting Bullhead City, Laughlin | Nevada News
BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) – Site clean-up has begun on a $ 52.4 million bridge construction project to provide a long-awaited second route on the Colorado River between Bullhead City, Ariz., And Laughlin , Nevada.
“Ultimately, the new bridge project is underway after many years of dialogue and debate,” said Toby Cotter, City Manager of Bullhead. “It’s going to happen. It’s starting to happen now.”
The project is a partnership between Bullhead City and Clark County, which includes Laughlin, a casino and an unincorporated resort community.
The two communities across the river share a local economy, with many Bullhead City residents working in Laughlin.
“The need for a second bridge connecting Laughlin and Bullhead City has been discussed and planned for decades, with federal funding first committed in the 1990s,” said Clark County Commission Michael Naft, whose district includes Laughlin. “This bridge is an important transportation element and it is also essential for emergency responders.”
The bridge will connect the Bullhead Parkway in southern Bullhead City to the Needles Highway in Laughlin, the Mohave Valley Daily News reported.
The existing Laughlin Bridge, paid for by Laughlin founder Don Laughlin in 1987 and ceded to the states of Nevada and Arizona, has since 2001 been the only span crossing the river within Bullhead City.
The new bridge will be approximately 8 miles south of the Laughlin Bridge and approximately 6 miles north of the Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Fort Mohave to Laughlin near the Avi Resort Casino.
The next closest bridge is at Needles.
Prior to the construction of the Laughlin Bridge, the Davis Dam Bridge was the only link between Bullhead City and Laughlin. This bridge was closed to public access following the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC
Work recently began with clearing brush and other debris from the project area, constructing a pond near the Colorado River Nature Center on the Arizona side, and installing equipment near the job site.
Actual construction is expected to start by the end of the year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Fisher Sand and Gravel, of Tempe, Ariz., Is the prime contractor for the construction of the four-lane bridge that will span 724 feet (221 meters) and include a path for pedestrians and cyclists.
Clark County is contributing $ 27.1 million, the federal government is providing $ 20.8 million, and Bullhead City will pay $ 4.5 million.
The bridge has been in the planning process for a long time, with US-Sens then. John McCain of Arizona and Harry Reid of Nevada pledged to provide support long before the turn of the century and officials in Bullhead City and Nevada working with the Federal Highway Administration to identify a suitable site.
The original preferred site was abandoned in 2008 because construction would have encroached on a public park, preventing federal funding.
It then took Bullhead City several years to find their current favorite site.
But Laughlin officials didn’t like the site, saying it was too south of Laughlin’s business and casino districts and that the location would require construction of a new causeway to connect the bridge to Needles Highway.
At one point, the Town of Laughlin Advisory Council asked if there were other more beneficial projects for Laughlin that could benefit from the county’s money earmarked for the bridge.
But Clark County has refused to renege on its commitment to the bridge project, and the project was given the green light earlier this year.
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