BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — After nearly eight years of work -- at a cost of $240 million -- a bridge that will let drivers bypass Hoover Dam along the Arizona-Nevada border is ready to open.
At a dedication ceremony today, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the dam itself is "one of the wonders of the world" -- and that he hopes the bridge will become another one.
The engineering wonder -- 1,900-feet long, and perched 890 feet above the Colorado River -- is supposed to drastically cut travel time along the main route between Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Motorists will no longer have to make their way at a snail's pace along the winding two-lane road that runs past the dam. It's clogged with security checkpoints and gawking tourists.
The bridge officially opens next week.
It's named for former Nevada Gov. Mike O'Callaghan and for Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who quit the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers. He died under friendly fire in Afghanistan.