Monday, January 17, 2011

The new bridge at Hoover Dam

On our way to Phoenix, we crossed the Colorado river at the Hoover Dam.  This used to involve driving across the dam itself.  A couple of months ago, they opened a new bridge and diverted the highway onto it and off the dam.  They installed a pedestrian walkway on the bridge so that people could cross on foot to view the dam.

This is on the approach to Lake Mead, which is the reservoir behind the Hoover dam.

This is where we should have exited, but from the research I'd done, it made it sound like the parking lot for the bridge walkway is right beside the bridge.  We didn't want to go to the dam itself, so we kept driving.

From a passenger car you can't even tell you are on the bridge when you cross it, but we did clue in once we were in Arizona that we'd missed it!  It was easy to turn around though and go back.

This is the pedestrian walkway, heading south from the Nevada side

Great view of the dam, eh?  It's huge- I pasted two photos together in this next photo:

Another look from further down the bridge.  The reservoir was at it's lowest level since the dam was being finished in 1937.

There are several interpretive panels about the bridge construction along the walkway, this is one of them:

Here's the state line on the walkway, you can see my toes at the bottom.  Right foot in Arizona, left in Nevada.

View back along the bridge from the Arizona side.

I liked these leaning towers of Hoover on the sides of the gorge:

I can't imagine how they lived for so many decades without this bridge.  Supposedly traffic would get really congested as everyone waited to cross the dam itself.  I'm really glad they took the opportunity to put in a viewing walkway too.  The Hoover Dam is one of those iconic American symbols that everyone seems to go see at some point, and now from this bridge, they can see it really well.

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