LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A second bridge connecting Laughlin to Bullhead City took another step forward this week, but not everyone is on board with the plan.
Clark County has asked for bids to build a 724-foot-long bridge south of Laughlin that will connect Needles Highway to the end of Bullhead City Parkway on the Arizona side.
Bids were opened Jan. 11, and will close on Feb. 8.
“The new bridge connecting Laughlin and Bullhead City is important for public safety and the long-term economic growth of the area,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who represents District A, which includes Laughlin.
“The potential for accidents and emergencies to close the existing bridge are serious concerns, and increasing traffic volumes can turn the current bridge into a bottleneck,” Naft said. “The new bridge will address both of these issues while taking advantage of the federal dollars allocated for this project more than two decades ago.”
The project will incude roadways connecting to the existing roads. A 3.5-mile road will be built from Needles Highway to the bridge on the Nevada side, and about a quarter-mile of road will be built to connect to Bullhead City Parkway.
Opposition to the project comes from the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and the City of Needles, Calif. Developers say the bridge will only benefit Bullhead City and their sales tax collection.
A small bridge on Aztec Road that connects the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe’s casino to Bullhead City already provides what the new bridge will do, LEDC says.
The heavily traveled bridge north of Laughlin currently handles most of the traffic between the two communities. A large portion of Laughlin’s workforce lives in Bullhead City.
The Regional Transportation Commission says that crashes sometimes interfere with traffic flow, and there is concern that medical calls could be delayed without the new bridge.
But LEDC sees higher priorities in expanding W. Casino Drive in Laughlin and providing utilities in the area. The development group also wants more attention to the sale and development of the Mohave Generating Site, as well as additional renewable energy sites in the Southland property and other areas to the west.