The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass, is a beautiful arch bridge that spans the majestic Colorado River.
The bridge links the states of Nevada and Arizona, and being located right in front of the Hoover Dam explains why it is one of the top attractions near Las Vegas.
Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, Hoover Dam Bypass
The dam’s construction began following the need to transform the chaotic flood-prone Colorado River into a resourceful natural feature. The result was the creation of a dam that could hold 10 trillion gallons of water in its reservoir. The resulting work ensured that the water load was managed by both the gravitational force and the horizontal force as a result of the dam’s design.
This, however, created a challenge in getting around from Las Vegas to Phoenix. Almost a century later, the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass began to create a safer and shorter road between the two cities.
Currently, this bridge is the second-tallest in the United States of America, the highest concrete arch bridge in the world and has the widest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. It is fascinating to learn that the bridge was designed to last for more than a century, having been engineered to take into account changes that result from weather patterns, the weight of the cars, and even movement.
Fun facts about the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge include the fact that it used up more than 16 million pounds of steel and over 27,000 cubic feet of concrete. There are also a couple of wildlife over and underpasses nearby to preserve and care for the herds of desert bighorn sheep, which is an endangered species that remains one of the region’s prized treasures.
The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge also has an accessible walking path from the Nevada end and is a splendid viewing and photography point. From the bridge, look out for the iconic Hoover Dam, scenic Lake Mead, and the towering walls of the Black Canyon.