Hoover Dam bypass project progressing<BR>

Some progress has been made in the plans to build a new bridge over the Colorado River.

The Environmental Impact Study for the Hoover Bridge on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam is nearly complete, according to information from Paul McCormick, vice chairman of the Mohave County Highway Commission.

McCormick told the Mohave County Board of Supervisors that the Environmental Record of Decision is expected by the Arizona Department of Transportation sometime this fall.

ADOT and the Nevada Department of Transportation have jointly applied for a $20 million grant for bridge detailed design, engineering and construction.

Design work could begin late this year with construction beginning in 2002, McCormick reported.

The project is a key part of the 1,600-mile CANAMEX Trade Corridor and a critical link on Highway 93.

ADOT's report indicates pedestrian and motor vehicle safety would be improved with commercial traffic removed from the top of Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam bridge and bypass is routed through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area before connecting to U.S.

93 in Arizona.

ADOT reports the bridge and bypass will cost $204 million and $98 million is committed or in hand.

Another $40 million is in pending in Congress.

The CANAMEX Trade Corridor is part of the NAFTA (North American Trade Agreement) agreement to increase trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States.

In addition to the bridge project, the state is also working to improve the highway in other areas.

ADOT reports that $260 million has been spent to expand U.S.

93 to four lanes from Kingman to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Also, Arizona is budgeting $175.9 million for widening U.S.

93 from Wickieup to Interstate 40 east of Kingman.