The ROD is the final step in the process of determining the route the bypass will follow. It officially names Sugarloaf Mountain as the best alternative to minimize environmental impacts, resolve traffic congestion and accidents at the dam, and increase protection of the dam and waters of the Colorado River.
The project will eliminate the serious bottleneck on U.S. 93, a major traffic route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It will reroute trucks and through traffic, so that they no longer have to cross Hoover Dam.
The bypass will be a four-lane, divided highway about 3.2 miles long that will include numerous wildlife crossings as well as a 1,900-foot bridge that will cross the Colorado River at a height of more than 900 feet. Construction on the $198 million project is scheduled to start in late 2002 and take about five years to complete.
The ROD represents the conclusion of 10 years of project development, environmental studies, public input and negotiations between the seven entities involved with the project: the states of Arizona and Nevada, the National Park Service, the Western Area Power Administration, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Lower Colorado Dam Facilities Office, and the FHWA.