- Type: Landmarks
NileGuide Expert tip:
A concrete divider separates the pedestrian walkway from the traffic. High walls on the bridge itself prevent drivers from seeing Hoover Dam.
- Officially, the bridge is the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, named in honor of the prominent Nevada governor (O'Callaghan) and war hero (Tillman). Until someone comes up with a shorter name, however, most people simply refer to it as the Bypass Bridge or the Colorado River Bridge. Whatever you call it, the bridge is an engineering accomplishment that took five years to build—after two years of construction on the approach to the bridge. First proposed in the 1960s, the bridge re-routed US Highway 93, allowing Hoover Dam to be free of the heavy traffic that it once carried.
The Bypass Bridge is one of the tallest bridges in the United States and is about 900 feet above the Colorado River. The concrete arch bridge is 1,900 feet long and 1,500 feet downstream from the dam. A pedestrian walkway allows people to walk across the bridge and see a view of Hoover Dam formerly only available from a helicopter. To walk across the bridge, visitors should take the Hoover Dam exit and follow the signs to the parking lot for pedestrian access to the bridge.
Drivers must use the bridge to cross into Arizona from Nevada. The twisty, two-lane road that once carried vehicles into Arizona is closed, except for some designated viewing areas on the Arizona side. Drivers coming from Arizona into Nevada must first cross the bridge and then take the exit to the dam.
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