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Purpose & Overview

Prior to completion of this project, the existing route of U.S. 93 used the top of Hoover Dam to cross the Colorado River. U.S. Highway 93 is the major commercial corridor between the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah; it is also on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) route between Mexico and Canada. U.S. 93 was identified as a high priority corridor in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995. The traffic congestion caused by the inadequacy of the existing highway across the dam imposed a serious economic burden on the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. 

The traffic volumes, combined with the sharp curves on U.S. 93 in the vicinity of Hoover Dam, created a potentially dangerous situation. A major catastrophe could occur, involving innocent bystanders, millions of dollars in property damage to the dam and its facilities, contamination of the waters of Lake Mead or the Colorado River, and interruption of the power and water supply for people in the Southwest.

By developing an alternate crossing of the river near Hoover Dam, through-vehicle and truck traffic are removed from the top of the dam. This new route eliminates the problems with the former highway--sharp turns, narrow roadways, inadequate shoulders, poor sight distance, and low travel speeds. 


The purpose of the project was to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Minimize the potential for pedestrian-vehicle accidents on the dam crest and on the Nevada and Arizona approaches to the dam. 
  • Remove a major bottleneck to interstate and international commerce and travel in the west by reducing traffic congestion and accidents in this segment of the major commercial route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. 
  • Replace an inadequate highway river crossing with a new crossing that meets current roadway design criteria and improves through-vehicle and truck traffic capacity on U.S. 93 at the dam. 
  • Reduce travel time in the dam vicinity. 
  • Protect Hoover Dam employees, visitors, equipment, power generation capabilities and Colorado River waters, while enhancing the visitors’ experience at Hoover Dam by: 
    • Safeguarding dam and power plant facilities and the waters of Lake Mead and the Colorado River from hazardous spills or explosions. 
    • Protecting the dam and power plant facilities from interruptions in electricity and water delivery. 
    • Providing improved conditions for operating and maintaining Hoover Dam facilities. 

 

 

Last Updated: 10/29/2010

 
 

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