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Here are some of the articles and information that were once found on our What's New page.  While it may be considered "Old News" now, it documents the evolution and progress of this project.  See how we got to where we are today! 


Hoover Dam Bypass Marks Another Milestone:
Project Awarded to Surface Majority of Bypass Approach Roadways

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded a $7 million surfacing project in order to finalize paving and guardrail throughout a majority of the Bypass Approach roadways. This paving will be complete in Summer 2008.

This paving has been accelerated in order to take advantage of current construction materials prices and minimize any future increases that may result from delays associated with the contractors crane collapse that occurred during construction of the River Bridge. Advancing this roadway surfacing project ensures continued progress on the Bypass while minimizing the remaining work to be done after the River Bridge is completed – with the ultimate goal of expediting the final opening of the Bypass.

The contract for this work was awarded to Las Vegas Paving Corporation of Las Vegas Nevada.  The paving project will include over 60,000 tons aggregate base, 45,000 tons hot asphalt concrete pavement and nearly 18,000 lineal feet of guardrail.

Once the River Bridge nears completion, a final contract will be awarded to pave any remaining roadway and the roadway tie-ins at U.S. 93, as well as final signing, striping, and barrier. It is estimated that this final contract will cost approximately $8 million and will be advertised in late 2009. The total cost to complete the Hoover Dam Bypass remains unchanged at $240 million and is consistent with the original 2001 estimate.
 

Revised Schedule

A revised schedule for completion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project has been finalized. While still under development, the overall schedule and opening of the bypass will be delayed about two years until late 2010. There are a number of alternatives under consideration that could shorten the schedule by a few months.  For details, see our Schedule page.  The project team looks forward to completing the Hoover Dam Bypass. The project will reduce congestion, improve highway safety, and provide security to dam operations and visitors.

Please continue to visit this website for updates on the Hoover Dam Bypass. You can also visit the newly activated web cam to view live images of the construction area. In the upper left-hand margin, just click on the “web cam” icon.
 


Colorado River Bridge Project Resumes Full Construction
Aggressive Site Work Underway While Replacement Highline System is Fabricated

Work continues on the Hoover Dam Bypass project while a new highline system is fabricated. The joint venture partnership of Obayashi Corporation and PSM Construction USA, Inc. has implemented measures to continue work despite the significant delay caused when the two highline tower cranes, located on opposite sides of the Colorado River Bridge, fell unexpectedly during a windstorm last fall.

In order to resume construction, the contractor has employed two state-of-the-art interim cranes to shoulder the work of the highline system. The Manitowac 2250 has a 330-ton capacity with a 320-foot boom and is located on the Nevada side of the bridge. The S70 Derrick crane with a 135-ton capacity and a 330-foot boom was placed behind the bridge abutment on the Arizona side of the bridge. There are very few of these cranes in existence. They were shipped from across the country, with portions coming from as far away as Scotland, specifically for this project. The equipment has made possible the construction of columns, pier caps, box girders, and the initial arch segments.


The new highline system is currently being designed and is being fabricated for delivery beginning in August. It will be operational in late 2007. While constructing a new highline system is critical to the efficient completion of this project, it has resulted in a revision of the overall schedule with completion of the bridge in mid-2010 and the opening of the Bypass in late 2010.

“As the contractor, we count it a privilege and an honor to work on this monumental structure and we are committed to its successful completion. Our goals are to build the bridge with high quality and with ‘Safety First’ as our motto.”

Jim Stevens
Project Sponsor
Obayashi Corporation and PSM Construction USA, Inc.

The $240 million Hoover Dam Bypass project was conceived to address a number of traffic congestion and safety issues related to the function of highway U.S. 93 and its crossing of Hoover Dam. The roadway is the primary route for commerce and travel between Phoenix and Las Vegas, with more than 17,000 vehicles using this section of highway each day. The accident rate in the bypass area is three times higher than the rest of U.S. 93.

Arch Construction Begins
Initial Segments Underway

By the end of July, the first segments at the ends of each arch will be complete. These initial portions are being constructed in segments conventionally by pouring concrete in incremental sections. When complete, the two arches will contain a total of 106 individual segments, 53 in each arch. Work on remaining portions of the arch will begin once the contractor’s highline is reactivated. Construction of the twin-rib arch, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, will take approximately 18 months.

Watch for more detailed arch construction information in future newsletters.

Colorado River Bridge, officially designated the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

The bridge portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project has been officially named by the United States Congress as the “Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge”. The name honors two prominent local citizens who dedicated themselves to public service and the greater good.

Mike O’Callaghan was a longtime Nevadan and former Governor who also served as a prominent community leader and businessman. After he left office, he became the executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun, a position he held for 25 years. He died in March 2004 at the age of 74.

Pat Tillman graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University where he was one of the University football team’s leading defensive players. He later played professional football for the Arizona Cardinals before he joined the Army in 2002. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in April 2004 at the age of 27.

Highline System Essential for Bridge Construction

The highline system is a critical part of the overall project because it will allow materials to be delivered out over the canyon while work is underway on the 1,900-foot-long Colorado River Bridge. Here’s how it works: two tower cranes are built on opposite sides of the canyon, forming dual highlines. Once the highlines are erected, the entire length of the bridge becomes accessible to the crane hook for delivery of materials used in the main arch crossing, columns, and the superstructure.

The contractor, a joint venture team of Obayashi Corporation and PSM Construction USA, Inc., is working to design, procure and fabricate a new highline system. Both firms are leaders in construction of this magnitude and bring years of valuable experience to the project. The replacement highline is expected to be operational in late 2007. The multi-agency project management team has worked closely with the joint venture contractor team to minimize impacts to the schedule and the traveling public, and is focused on completion of this highly important project.

Investigation Continues of Tower Collapse

The investigation continues into the contractor’s highline tower cranes collapse. Wind speeds of up to 55 mph were recorded at the site prior to the contractors’ tower failure. Numerous parties were involved in development, reconditioning, and operation of the contractors’ original cable crane system – including suppliers, subcontractors, fabricators, engineers, and insurers - and each has been asked to contribute to the investigation effort. At this time, it appears that the refurbished Nevada South tower failed initially and so it is the focus of the ongoing investigations. Once the Nevada South tower failed, support cables to the adjoining towers were compromised, which caused the remaining towers to fall. The contractor team is continuing their investigation to determine the actual point of failure and underlying cause related to the Nevada South tower’s failure.

Prior to the unexpected collapse of the contractors’ highline delivery system, all aspects of the multi-year project were proceeding on schedule. Today, the majority of the bypass project has been completed on time and on budget.

While the joint venture and multi-agency project management team are disappointed by the delay, everyone is working together to advance the project as aggressively as possible in order to achieve the new completion date.

 

 


Colorado River Bridge Construction Continues After
Tower Collapse Delays Project
Replacement Highline System In Progress

Work continues on the Hoover Dam Bypass project despite delays caused by last fall’s collapse of the contractors’ cable cranes. The $114 million river bridge portion of the $240 million bypass project was originally scheduled to be complete in fall 2008, however in September it suffered a significant setback when the contractors’ tower cranes, located on opposite sides of the Colorado River Bridge, fell. The good news is that there were no injuries and none of the previously completed work on the bridge was damaged. Completion of the river bridge is now scheduled for mid 2010 with opening of the bypass now delayed approximately two years until late 2010.

The Hoover Dam Bypass was conceived to address a number of traffic congestion and safety issues related to the function of highway U.S. 93 and its crossing of Hoover Dam. The roadway is the primary route for commerce and travel between Phoenix and Las Vegas, with more than 17,000 vehicles using this section of highway each day. The accident rate in the bypass area is three times higher than the rest of U.S. 93.

The new Hoover Dam Bypass will include approximately 3.5 miles of new four-lane highway and a 1,900-foot-long bridge over the Colorado River about 1,500 feet south of the dam, and ties into existing U.S. 93 on the east and west. The bridge portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project has been officially designated by the United States Congress as the “Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.” The bridge’s name honors two prominent local citizens who dedicated themselves to public service and the greater good.

Prior to the collapse of the contractors’ delivery system, all aspects of the multi-year project were on track. Today, the majority of the bypass project has been completed on time and on budget. This work includes the $10 million construction to relocate the transmission lines crossing the Colorado River and throughout the corridor; the $22 million construction of the Arizona Approach Highway and two major associated
structures; the $31 million construction of Approach Highways in Nevada, including 6 bridges; and the Colorado River bridge, which was approximately 40 percent complete at the time of the contractors’ crane failure.

The contractor, a Joint Venture team of Obayashi Corporation and PSM Construction USA, Inc., is working to design, procure and fabricate a new highline system. Both firms are leaders
in construction of this magnitude and bring years of valuable experience to the project. The replacement highline is expected to be operational perhaps as soon as late 2007. The multi-agency project management team has worked closely with the Joint Venture contractor team to minimize impacts to the schedule and the traveling public, and is focused on completion of this highly important project.

Project Status
Production work is occurring on a limited basis using conventional cranes to complete tasks unrelated to the highline. In February, additional heavy cranes will be fully operational, which will allow significant production work to proceed in full force. This effort will mitigate the impacts of the lost highline until the tower cranes are re-established.

Revised Schedule
A revised schedule for completion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project is being finalized. While still under development, it appears that the overall schedule and opening of the bypass will be delayed about two years until late 2010. There are a number of alternatives under consideration that could shorten the schedule by a few months.

 

The project team looks forward to completing the Hoover Dam Bypass. The project will reduce congestion, improve highway safety, and provide security to dam operations and visitors.
 

Highline System Implemented by JV for Bridge Construction

The highline system is a critical part of the contractors’ operations because it allows materials to be delivered out over the canyon while work is underway on the 1,900-foot-long Colorado River Bridge. Here’s how it works: two tower cranes are built on opposite sides of the canyon, forming dual high-lines. Once the high-lines are erected, the entire length of the bridge becomes accessible to the crane hook for delivery of materials used in both foundation structures and the main arch crossing.

The bridge portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project was delayed significantly when the two highline tower cranes toppled unexpectedly last fall. They must now be redesigned and rebuilt before final construction of the arch portion of the bridge can proceed.

Towers’ Collapse Being Investigated

An investigation is underway to determine what led the contractor’s highline tower cranes to collapse during winds last September. Wind speeds of up to 55 mph were recorded at the site prior to the contractors’ reconditioned tower failure.

Numerous parties were involved in development, reconditioning, and operation of the contractors’ original cable crane system - including suppliers, subcontractors, fabricators, engineers, and insurers - and each is participating in the investigation effort. At this time, it appears that the reconditioned Nevada South tower failed initially and so it is the focus of the ongoing investigations. Once the Nevada South tower failed, support cables to the adjoining towers were compromised, which caused the remaining towers to collapse. The contractor team is continuing their investigation to determine the actual point of failure and underlying cause related to the Nevada South tower’s failure.

While the Joint Venture and multi-agency project management team are disappointed by the delay, everyone is working together to advance the project as aggressively as possible in order to achieve the new completion date.


Colorado River Bridge, officially designated the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge by an Act of Congress on September 15, 2004

The bridge portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project has been officially designated by the United States Congress as the "Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge." The name honors two prominent local citizens who dedicated themselves to public service and the greater good.

Mike O'Callaghan was a longtime Nevadan and former Governor (1971-1979) who also served as a prominent community leader and businessman. After he left office he became the executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun, a position he held for 25 years. He died in March 2004 at the age of 74.

Pat Tillman graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University where he was also one of the University football team's leading defensive players. He later played professional football for the Arizona Cardinals before he joined the Army in 2002. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in April 2004 at the age of 27.

(See  Section 118, (a) and (b), under the heading "general provisions--federal highway administration," for the official legislation of this Bill.)


Web Cam goes Live

You can now view live images of the construction on the River Bridge from our web cam!  (Please note, you may have to turn off your pop-up blocker to view the web cam.)  As construction activities progress on the Colorado River Bridge, we take you right to the action with the use of our new interactive webcam.  Also, don't forget that we will periodically update the Construction Photo Album page with a few of our favorites that we took on-site.


Hoover Dam Bypass Construction Projects:

The Hoover Dam Bypass Project reached another major milestone with the award of the contract for the final connection – the Colorado River Bridge.  Construction on the nearly 2,000 foot long Colorado River Bridge began in late January of 2005 and the completion of the entire Hoover Dam Bypass Project is expected in June 2008. The Colorado River Bridge was advertised on June 8th.  Please refer to the Bidders page for more information on these Hoover Dam Bypass construction projects.  Be sure to check the CFLHD  Procurement Page often for updated information, as well.  Please contact one of the individuals listed in the CFLHD bid information with any questions.  The results of all bid lettings will be posted on the same Procurement Page, under the Bid Results tab.  Allow several days for the posting to occur.

The Arizona Contract was awarded on January 7, 2003.  The contract for construction services was awarded to the joint venture team of R.E. Monks Construction and Vastco Inc., of Fountain Hills, Arizona. The Arizona Approach, which is now complete,  was the first phase of the Hoover Dam Bypass. 

On the other end of the project, Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc. had been awarded the construction contract on September 17, 2003 for the Nevada Approach Work on this phase of the project is now complete, as well!  You can stay updated on the progress by accessing our Construction Activities page () for more information (including photos of the construction) on these projects.

Contract Awarded for the Colorado River Bridge
(Updated February 23, 2005)

The contract for construction of the Colorado River Bridge (the central portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass Project) was awarded to the joint venture partnership of Obayashi Corporation and PSM Construction USA, Inc.  Onsite construction of the Bridge is fully underway.

Please read the official announcement, released on Wednesday, October 27, 2004:  Contract Awarded for Hoover Dam Bypass Colorado River Bridge


Western Area Power Administration Complete System Update

The power is on at the Bypass.  The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a partner with the Federal Highway Administration on the Hoover Dam Bypass has completed changes to its transmission system that were necessary to accommodate the Bypass project.  These improvements, made in two phases, included replacing transmission towers and conductor that were installed in the late 1930’s and removing a switchyard with 50-year-old breakers and switches.  These state-of-the art improvements enhanced the overall reliability for electrical customers.


Colorado River Bridge Type

The Colorado River bridge will be a composite concrete deck arch.  Click here for details. 


Preliminary Design

The preliminary design of the roadway is available for downloading.  Click here for details.  And Click here to download a drive though of the proposed alignment.

 

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