The Hoover Dam Bridge is a true wonder. Built to replace the Hoover Dam Bypass, this bridge is 1,900 feet long and is the second-highest bridge of any kind in the United States, shorter only than the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. It is also the Western Hemisphere’s highest and longest arched concrete bridge, and the concrete columns are the tallest of their kind on the planet.
The Hoover Dam Bridge is set a dizzying 890 feet above the Colorado River, a quarter mile downstream of the Hoover Dam, wedged between the walls of the Black Canyon. Partly because of its height and the amazing views that it offers of the dam itself and of Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam Bridge has become more than just a route across the river for cars and trucks. Since it opened in October 2010, it has also become a popular tourist attraction. A six-foot-wide sidewalk runs the length of the bridge, and parking is available at a lot near the dam. It takes a bit of a climb to get to the sidewalk from the parking lot, though the views are more than worth the effort, and the walk is relatively short, less than a mile round-trip to walk from one side of the bridge to the other and back.
As for other interesting facts about the Hoover Dam Bridge, more than 1,200 workers and 300 engineers took part in the building process. The total cost was $240 million, and its official name is the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, in honor of the Korean War veteran and former Nevada governor, and of the US Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan in 2004. Although the primary purpose of the bridge was to help with traffic flow, it’s now a popular part of tours of the Hoover Dam and its surroundings, and it’s one of the many things to do on trips to Las Vegas and Boulder City, both of which are located not far from the bridge.