Public Roads Magazine – March / April 2011
Soaring protectively near the Hoover Dam and straddling the boundary between Arizona and Nevada, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge has made history several times over. Not bad, considering that the bridge — one of the world’s largest — was once thought to be unbuildable.
Once the new bridge began carrying thousands of vehicles and trucks every day over Black Canyon, the structure became one of the most awesome anywhere. Towering nearly 900 feet (274 meters) above the Colorado River, the bridge sits atop the world’s tallest precast concrete columns. Its central span — at 1,060 feet (323 meters) long — is the Western Hemisphere’s longest single-span concrete arch.
At the project’s dedication on October 14, 2010, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “This majestic bridge reaffirms a powerful idea. Americans can still build great things — not just in spite of enormous economic challenge, but as the means of overcoming it.” The bridge was opened to traffic on October 19, 2010.