2nd bridge proposed connecting Bullhead City with Laughlin

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Construction bids are being taken for a proposed second bridge over the Colorado River that would connect Bullhead City, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada.

The Mohave Valley Daily News reports that the invitation to bid required an agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation to be approved by the Clark County Board of Commissioners and that occurred last Friday.

Clark County District A Commissioner Michael Naft, who represents the town of Laughlin, said the proposed 724-foot (221-meter) bridge is important for public safety and the long-term economic growth of the area.

The estimated cost of the project is between $42 million and $46 million.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and Clark County agreed to provide nearly $22 million.

The NDOT-Clark County agreement stated that other costs for the project are expected to total more than $29 million with almost $22 million coming in federal funding.

The tentative overall cost would be about $52 million using the dollar amounts in that agreement, according to the Daily News.

The bid invitation states the project will be constructed to have four “ultimate” lanes and a 10-foot (3-meter) wide multi-use path.

Nevada will build 3 ½ miles (5.6 kilometers) of road connecting the bridge on the Nevada side to Needles Highway in Laughlin.

“The potential for accidents and emergencies to close the existing bridge are serious concerns and increasing traffic volumes can turn the current bridge into a bottleneck,” Naft said. “The new bridge will address both of these issues while taking advantage of the federal dollars allocated for this project more than two decades ago.”

Bullhead City will share costs to maintain the new bridge.

The city also paid more than $3 million for the extension of Bullhead Parkway that will link the bridge to the Arizona side.

“The community has been waiting more than 20 years for the construction of the second bridge,” Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter said.

The first bridge linking the two communities was paid for by Don Laughlin and connects Highways 95 and 68 in Arizona with Highway 163 in Nevada.

It cost Laughlin about $3 million and was completed in 1987. Since then, more than 600 million people have traveled that four-lane bridge.

Before the first bridge was opened, drivers had to use a ferry boat to cross the river or travel over Davis Dam to go from one community to the other — a round trip of about 12 miles (19.3 kilometers).