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Friday, June 1, 2012

US 93 improvements continue



If you’ve ever driven between Arizona and Las Vegas, you’re probably pretty familiar with US 93. It’s the stretch of road traveled by countless motorists each day and it is in the midst of a major update.

A little bit of an overview
ADOT has dedicated nearly half a billion dollars since 1998 to widening and improving US 93 all the way from Wickenburg to the Hoover Dam. The long-term vision is to transform this route into a four-lane divided highway through its entire 200-mile stretch.

To turn this vision into reality, it was necessary to split the entire project into a series of smaller projects, including the one we’re blogging about today.

Milepost 2 to 17
This portion of US 93 comprises the15 miles of roadway just south of the Hoover Dam.

In November 2010, ADOT completed construction on the $71.3 million project, which widened the existing roadway section from two lanes to four and provided significant highway improvements, including a new trailhead, scenic overlooks and three wildlife crossings, which not only provide a safe crossing for the native Desert Bighorn Sheep, but also protection for motorists.

Because this portion of the US 93 is improved, motorists now have a continuous four-lane divided highway they can drive from the new bridge all the way south to Kingman.

This project is significant because of its magnitude and the aggressive schedule crews followed to get it done on time.

“Originally it was intended to be four different projects. That 15 miles was going to be split up into four different projects, which means it would take a long time to get finished,” Kingman District Engineer Mike Kondelis said. “In 2006, we were fortunate enough to get all four of those projects lumped together and built as one project. At that point, the race was on. We wanted to be able to complete this one project in time for the opening of the Hoover Dam bypass.”

Before you take a look at the video above for more on why the bypass played such an integral part in the construction of this portion of US 93, we want to share just a few of the project stats …
  • The project required more than 3.5 million cubic yards of excavation (one cubic yard is 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet … that’s a major amount of material!). 
  • More than 2.9 million pounds of reinforced steel were used in the bridges and various concrete segments. 
  • This section of the project also included more than 22 miles of new guardrail and 4.5 miles of culvert pipe. 
  • The project has been recognized with some major awards, including the Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association Transportation Project of the Year in the $25 to $75 million category and the 2011 Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Award. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona presented the 2011 Engineering Excellence Judge’s Choice Award to the project designer, AMEC Earth & Environmental, Inc. This project also received a couple of environmental awards, including the FHWA Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Award and the National Environmental Excellence Award (in the conservation category) from the National Association of Environmental Professionals.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  ADOT, Construction, Hoover-Dam, US-93, Video, Wildlife-Crossing
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