Hoover Dam bypass bridge may be delayed | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hoover Dam bypass bridge may be delayed

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Full-scale construction on a bypass bridge at Hoover Dam could be delayed after the collapse of massive crane towers that transport people and materials over Black Canyon.

Dave Zanetell, a Federal Highway Administration engineer overseeing the bridge project, said he was optimistic work can be done without the use of the towers, which collapsed on Friday.

“First, we’re making sure that the site is safe and that we can open Highway 93,” Zanetell said.

“Once that’s done, we have to get back to the business of building this bridge; and that’s going to take a little more time.”

U.S. 93 closed around 3 p.m. Friday after high winds downed the 280-foot-tall steel crane towers, which were connected by cables that spanned Black Canyon south of the dam.

A cable connecting the towers struck a mobile construction crane on the Nevada side of the project. On the Arizona side, falling cables hit a crane, causing it to became tangled in electrical power lines.

Neither Hoover Dam nor U.S. 93 was damaged. But some materials from the mishap remained in the roadway Saturday.

Later this week, crews are expected to close U.S. 93 for half a day or longer.

Bob McKenzie, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, urged motorists to avoid U.S. 93 and continue using the detour established Friday, which diverts traffic onto U.S. Highway 95 to state Route 163 and over the Colorado River at Laughlin. “Over the course of the next few days, use the alternate (route) as much as possible,” McKenzie said.

Officials said it was not clear when the Hoover Dam visitors center would reopen.

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