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Want a quick way to see the Hoover Dam passing through? If you don’t have much time, don’t like tours, or don’t want to pay the Hoover Dam entrance fee of $20+, (it’s $10 to park in the garage, then another $15 or more for the visitor’s center and tours per person), then consider visiting the Hoover Dam Bridge!
See the Hoover Dam for Free
To get to the bridge, follow the signs as if you’re going to the Hoover Dam itself. On the way towards it, there’s a parking lot off to the right with restrooms and some other small buildings. That is the parking lot for the The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
Note: If you want to go and stand on the Hoover Dam itself, you can park for free to visit the dam, but as explained on the Hoover Dam website, you have to park on the Arizona side, and it’s a bit of a walk to get to the visitor’s center.
There are some information signs, explaining the construction, interesting facts etc., and a paved walkway that zig zags up to the top of the hill where the bridge is.
The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
The bridge is named after Mike O’Callaghan and Pat Tillman. Both men served in the military and were awarded purple hearts. In addition to serving in the Korean war, Mike O’Callaghan was active in the community with various humanitarian works, and went on to become the Governor of Nevada from 1971-1979. Pat Tillman was a football star at Arizona State University, and turned down an NFL contract of over a million dollars to join the army and serve in Afghanistan after 9/11. He lost his life there in 2004. Mike O’Callaghan also passed away that same year.
Some interesting Facts on the Hoover Dam Bridge
- Construction was from 2005-2010
- Bridge Length -1905 Feet
- Bridge Width – 88 feet
- Roadway Height Above River – 880 feet
- Roadway Height Above Dam – 280 feet
- Arch Span Length – 1060 feet
- It’s center concrete arch is the widest in the western hemisphere!
- It’s the second highest bridge in the U.S.
- Total cost was around $240 million
The Hoover Dam itself used to be the way to cross over from Nevada into Arizona until the bypass bridge on I-93 was finished being built in October 2010. Now the only traffic going across the Hoover Dam is for tourists-you can still drive on it and cross over but then have to turn around and go back across and then get on I-93 if you want to continue on through Arizona.
Once on the bridge, it was VERY windy. There’s the railing on the one side, and a tall concrete wall on the other in-between you and the traffic going across. Towards the center of the bridge it got pretty crowded, so we didn’t go that far, but you don’t have to walk the whole length to get an incredible view of the dam!
Oh, and don’t forget to have your picture taken with the Nevada sign when you’re leaving! 🙂
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