Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hoover Dam

November 26, 2011 Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

For the past month we've been living less than 10 miles from the Hoover Dam but until just recently had yet to pay a visit. 

We started out by stopping at the parking area for the Mike O'Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
This bridge just opened last year and diverts traffic from actually driving on top of the Hoover Dam. It's my understanding that one of the reasons for the new 4-lane bridge was in the interest of Home Land Security.
Mike O'Callaghan, Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
From Wikipedia:
The bypass was constructed to improve safety, security, and traffic capacity. Through extensive studies, this bridge route was determined to be the best route for the bypass.
U.S. Highway 93, in conjunction with U.S. Highway 60 via Wickenburg, Arizona, is the primary highway between Phoenix, Arizona, andLas Vegas, Nevada, two cities that have seen great increases in population since the completion of the Hoover Dam. The section of U.S. 93 that approached and crossed Hoover Dam was not adequate for modern traffic needs. It was too narrow, with just one lane in each direction, it had many dangerous curves, including several hairpin turns, and it had poor lines-of-sight, especially at night.
Through highway traffic combined with sightseeing and pedestrian traffic at the dam, the traffic often came to a standstill. As a consequence of the heightened security measures following the September 11, 2001, attacks, truck traffic over the Hoover Dam was diverted south to a bridge crossing the river at Laughlin, Nevada, in an effort to safeguard the dam from hazardous spills or explosions. This disruption, however, did not eliminate the threat of a possible attack on the dam, since regular traffic still passed over it. Hence, the new bypass and the bridge are intended to improve travel times, replace the dangerous roadway, and reduce the possibility of an attack or an accident at the site of the dam.
More than 17,000 cars and trucks are using the new bridge daily, a number expected to grow by 50 percent over the next 20 years. This bridge is a key component of the proposed Interstate 11 project.

Marker on the pedestrian walk of the bridge.
From the Mike O'Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the views of the Hoover Dam are spectacular.
Hoover Dam taken from Mike O'Callaghan, Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
After checking out the bridge, we drove down to Hoover Dam which is till accessible for tourists (yea, that would be us!)
Joyce on the Hoover Dam
Water intake towers
From the top of the Hoover Dam, the view is of the Mike O'Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
Mike O'Callaghan, Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

Joyce and Paula
Overflow release tunnel
Dam overlook from the Arizona side.
Good news for us, our friends Paul and Paula whom we have traveled with over the summer have recently secured a volunteer position here at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. So they moved into the VIP RV park near us. Paul and Paula will be working for the visitor center staff.
We've been staying busy and of course, I'm continuing to fall behind on the blog.


  1. The new bridge is spectacular! Your blog post reminded me of how my kids LOVED to say they were going on the DAMN tour!