Posted on 29 December 2010.
By Arnold M. Knightly, Boulder City Review
The city is continuing its effort to pressure the Federal Highway Administration to declare “emergency exemption” to keep commercial truck from crossing the bypass bridge due to the heavy traffic on the highway through town.
At a morning press conference, Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler said the city has partnered with Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and Nevada Department of Transportation in asking federal officials to reroute the trucks back onto U.S. Highway 95 until a permanent solution is in place.
It would be the same route trucks used after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 until the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge opened Oct. 19.
The long-term solution, according to RTC General Manager Jacob Snow is to reposition the discussion about the Boulder City Bypass route to part of the Interstate 11 federal highway proposal so the project could become a federal funding priority.
The estimated cost to build the bypass would be $360 million if it was started today, said Rudy Malfabon, deputy director of Southern Nevada for the state transportation department. He added that the cost will increase the longer the project takes to get funded.
Snow said an estimated 34,000 vehicles pass through the city every day, an increase of nearly 1,000 vehicles before the bypass bridge opened. The congestion problem is due to the nearly 1,100 large trucks that can now use the route that was closed to them when the highway crossed Hoover Dam.
While that number doesn’t seem like a lot, trucks move at a slower, more deliberate pace that causes traffic to slow. The bypass bridge opening also now allows other non-commercial trucks that were banned prior – including moving vans, certain buses, ect. – to now use the route.