The agency chose Sugarloaf Mountain as the preferred choice of three alternatives, according to the Associated Press. The nearly $200 million bridge will be located a quarter mile downstream from the dam and will carry U.S. 93 across the Colorado River between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The current highway across the dam carried 11,500 vehicles a day, with almost one in five of them trucks. The two-lane hairpin turns and camera-toting tourists cause constant congestion.
The project has been under study for more than 10 years. The location, while the least expensive of the options considered, has been fought by environmentalists. The Sierra Club has said it will file suit to stop the bypass. It would prefer a bridge on U.S. 95 about 60 miles downstream from the dam, an option that was not among the three considered by the agency.
After final approval and design, construction could begin in 2002. It is expected to take five years.