LAS VEGAS (AP) The target date for completion of a bypass bridge at Hoover Dam is being pushed back to 2010 following the collapse of a construction crane in September, a project chief said.
The delay also is expected to drive up the cost of completing the four-lane highway bridge spanning the Colorado River, said Dave Zanetell, a Federal Highway Administration engineer overseeing the project. A new cost estimate was not immediately available.
“It’s essentially a two-year delay,” Zanetell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We intend to be aggressive and try to beat that, but we have to be realistic.”
The project was originally budgeted to cost $234 million with a $6 million cushion and be completed in late 2008. It’s now expected to cost the full $240 million.
The span is being built to carry U.S. Highway 93 traffic between Arizona and Nevada, bypassing a winding two-lane road across Hoover Dam. The road is a key route between Las Vegas and Phoenix.
No one was hurt in the Sept. 15 collapse of two pairs of 280-ft. towers that supported a pulley-type crane system high over Black Canyon just south of the dam. The mishap came during high winds.
Zanetell said primary project contractors Obayashi Corp. and PSM Construction USA Inc. were expected to have a new crane system in place by the end of 2007. The rigging is essential to complete the bridge deck, he said.
Road approaches have been finished on the Nevada and Arizona sides of the canyon, and work is approximately halfway done on support columns on both sides of the Colorado River, Zanetell said.
When finished, the 1,905-ft. (580 m) span will arch 890 ft. (271 m) above the river. It is formally called the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, after the former Nevada governor and football star-turned-soldier killed in Afghanistan.