Lessons From the Hoover Dam Bypass, One of the Biggest Infrastructure Projects in Years

More

When I visited the Hoover Dam for the first time this past January I was struck by how tiny and insignificant the massive dam looked when compared to the then-new 1,900-foot-long Colorado River Bridge being constructed high above it. Working from either side of the span, two construction teams met in the middle, 900 feet above the water, to finish a bypass that greatly reduces travel time between Arizona and Nevada. More impressively, the bypass was finished on time and on budget. Popular Mechanics put together a short blog post highlighting some lessons from the project, including "new roads are safer roads" and "big projects can leave small footprints."

Nowadays, people expect mega-engineering projects to be over budget--and, often, underwhelming. But the newly opened Hoover Dam Bypass is an example of big-ticket civil engineering done right. The roadway--which spans the Black Canyon 1500 feet south of the dam--provides a more direct route between Arizona and Nevada, cutting travel time by as much as two-thirds. The concrete arch of the Colorado River Bridge--one of nine new bridges--seamlessly complements the iconic Hoover Dam­, and its deck offers pedestrians a new vantage from which to view it. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez describes the bypass as "a modern engineering marvel." Here's what the rest of the country can learn from the nine-year, $240 million project, which somehow came in on budget.

Read the full story at Popular Mechanics.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In