Throwback Thursday: What a tangled web we weave

Throwback Thursday: What a tangled web we weave

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications
May 20, 2021

We're a pretty diverse lot here at ADOT, but collectively as an agency we do love bridges and great photography. And a little bit of 1950s B-movies, which is maybe why we glommed on to this particular shot.

As you probably sussed at a glance that's the Hoover Dam in the background, demarcating the state line between Arizona and Nevada. But up there above it looks like the handiwork of the largest spider ever, with long strands branching out from anchor points to support the bottom of a magnificent arch. We almost have the screenplay written in our heads: A spider is mutated from (insert your favorite reason here), grows to monsterous proportions and terrorizes Las Vegas. The climax will be a battle at the spider's lair spanning the Colorado River. The movie poster's tagline will be "To IT, we are all bugs!" 

Okay, so those are just silly flights of fancy. In reality this is obviously part-way through construction of the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which created a bypass so US 93 traffic no longer had to go over the dam. Construction of the actual bridge (which is 900 feet above the river!) ran between 2005 and 2010, and when completed was the highest and longest arch concrete bridge in the Western hemisphere. 

Another fun fact – due to how hot it gets in that particular spot, concrete had to be poured from mid-air at night and then cooled with tubes full of liquid nitrogen. That also potentially explains why we were able to capture this shot of crews working on the bridge this particular night. 

Just something to think about the next time you drive to or from Las Vegas. 

Now, if you'll excuse us, we are going to pitch our monster movie idea to Hollywood.