- Nevada’s longest bridge is the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
- It spans 1,900 feet, linking Nevada and Arizona.
- It is often referred to as Hoover Dam Bridge for its location.
The state of Nevada is packed with harsh terrain. Several mountain ranges and canyons are in the state, making travel difficult in some areas. Fortunately, human daring and ingenuity have led to the construction of bridges and other roadways that unite places within the state. One bridge is longer than any other, though. Learn about the longest bridge in Nevada including its total length, location, and the origin of its name.
What is the Longest Bridge in Nevada?
The longest bridge in Nevada is the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, a 1,900-foot bridge that connects Nevada and Arizona. The structure is sometimes called the Hoover Dam Bridge due to its location. The bridge is found in Mohave County Arizona and at the Lake Mead National Recreational Area in Clark County, Nevada. The bridge is located near the Hoover Dam and serves as a roadway for tourists and travelers alike.
The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is an arch bridge that goes over the Colorado River. The structure has 890 feet of clearance below it, making it one of the highest bridges in the country as well. The bridge has four lanes for vehicles and one lane for pedestrians and cyclists.
The bridge carries Interstate 11 and U.S. Highway 93 across the river. Nevada is on the western side of the bridge while Arizona is on the east side of the bridge. Since the bridge connects two states, both Nevada and Arizona had a say in its name when the bridge was being designed.
Mike O’Callaghan was a Korean War Veteran as well as the 23rd Governor of Nevada between 1971 and 1979. Pat Tillman was an NFL player who played for the Arizona Cardinals. He left his multi-million-dollar job to serve in the Army Rangers following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. He was killed by friendly fire while fighting in Afghanistan in 2004.
A History of the Longest Bridge in Nevada
The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge was constructed as part of the ongoing Hoover Dam Bypass Project. A major part of the reason the bridge was needed was that more people were passing along the roadways near the Hoover Dam.
The traffic congestion caused by the winding road and the threat of blind curves were slowing traffic and increasing the potential for traffic accidents. A straighter, wider path was needed to alleviate these problems.
Also, there was ongoing fear of a terrorist attack on the Hoover Dam since vehicles could drive over the dam at that time. That threat required additional security precautions including disallowing trucks from passing over it. Instead, commercial vehicles were sent on a 20-mile detour.
In 2002, the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration awarded the Hoover Support team, including HDR Inc and many other specialists, the contract to design and build the bridge. The bridge’s design took into consideration wear and tear caused by wind, earthquakes, daily usage, and more.
The designers decided on the bridge’s name before construction started. They announced the decision in late 2004, months after both men had passed away. Construction on the bridge began in 2005, and the project was finished on October 14, 2010. The bridge opened to cars on October 19, 2010, and it handles traffic from about 15,000 people every day.
The bridge immediately alleviated many traffic issues in the area, and today it helps 2,000 commercial truckers cut time and effort out of their travels every day.
Where is the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge on a Map?
The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is located at the border of Nevada and Arizona along the Colorado River. The bridge is in the southeastern part of Nevada and the northwestern part of Arizona.
Many well-known landmarks are in this area. People can use these landmarks to help find the bridge. For example, the bridge is just about 1,500 feet away from the Hoover Dam. The Colorado River flows below the river, and the massive Lake Mead is upriver from the Hoover Dam.
Traveling to the longest bridge in Nevada provides people with the chance to see many amazing sights!
What Animals Live Near the Bridge?
The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is located in a very arid area of the country. Nevertheless, many animals live in those parts of the nation. Moreover, the Colorado River has a host of different animals living within its waters.
Some of the animals that live on the land and in the air near the bridge include:
- Long-nosed leopard lizards
- Golden eagles
- Bighorn sheep
- Coachwhip snakes
- Mojave Desert tortoises
- Western screech owls
- Mojave rattlesnakes
People that visit the area should consider admiring these creatures from a distance, so they do not accidentally provoke them.
The Colorado River has a wide assortment of fish living in its waters. Some of the ones that an individual may see or catch in these waters include:
Many other different sorts of fish live along the length of the Colorado River as well.
The longest bridge in Nevada is 1,900 feet long and has a single span measuring 1,060 feet. While it is not nearly as long as the lengthiest bridges in the country, it is still an impressive structure in its own right. The bridge helps people travel between Arizona and Nevada while bypassing old, dangerous roads. Furthermore, the designers named the bridge after two very worthy men.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock.com
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