R.E. Monks/Vastco Land First Phase of Hoover Dam Project

Wed January 29, 2003 - West Edition

The $23.2-million contract for the first phase of the Hoover Dam Bypass has been awarded to the joint venture team of Arizona contractors R.E. Monks Construction and Vastco Inc.

Set to begin early this year, the Arizona approach phase of the project entails about 1. 8 mi. (2.9 km) of new road from Highway 93 (the winding two-lane road that links Las Vegas and Phoenix) to the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

The joint venture came in as the lowest of 13 bidders on the project. The bid the partnership submitted was $21.4 million.

According to the Associated Press, Tom Devereaux, Vastco president, said project costs include extensive drilling and blasting into rock, as well as two large bridges and various drainage structures. The partnership plans to begin work in February and finish in less than two years.

The total dam bypass project, estimated at $231 million, would create a 2,000-ft. (609 m) concrete deck arch bridge over the Colorado River just south of the dam. It is expected to end growing traffic delays along U.S. Highway 93.

The Federal Highway Administration expects to advertise the second of four project phases, the Nevada approach, in June.