The long-awaited new bridge connecting Laughlin and Bullhead City is on track to begin construction at the end of this year, according to city officials.
“The design team is submitting 100 percent plans in June,” said Bullhead City Public Works Director/City Engineer Keegan Littrell. “They are hoping to be able to bid out the project in August and start construction at the end of December or first of January.”
The Louis Berger Group, Inc., a global corporation with offices in Las Vegas, was selected in 2016 to perform the design work, including the bridge and the approach roadways on both sides of the river.
The project is being run under the direction of Clark County, Nev.
The sub-structure of the bridge — its foundation — has been planned to accommodate a four-lane bridge, said Dan Kulin, Clark County spokesman. Whether or not the bridge will be striped for two or four travel lanes when it opens will depend on the width of the roads on both sides of the bridge at that time.
“Earlier plans called for building a two-lane road on top of that foundation,” Kulin said. “After further review, we now plan to build the full, four-lane
bridge with this project. We expect this will save at least $500,000, and allow us to increase the number of travel lanes on the bridge as soon as the connecting roads are ready.”
Bullhead City’s proposed fiscal year 2018-19 budget includes about $3.1 million for the city’s portion of funding for the bridge, which includes an extension of the Bullhead Parkway.
“We’re going to bid it out two ways for the Arizona side — depending on the bids, we’ll be able to build the roadway at full width or a minimum two lanes,” Littrell said. “We just got the 60 percent plans, but (the engineer) promised to have the final design done within a couple of weeks. If everything looks good, we’re hoping to bid it out and get started on the work on our side as soon as possible.”
In addition to the Arizona-side Parkway extension, the project includes construction of the bridge over the Colorado River plus a new 3 1/2-mile road on the Nevada side to connect the bridge to existing roads, Kulin said.
“The start date could be affected by pending approvals from the (Federal Highway Administration),” Kulin explained. “Construction could begin in early 2019 and will take 18 to 24 months to complete.”