Bullhead City Approves Agreement for Bridge

Credit: Laughlin Times

By Bill McMillen for Mohave Valley Daily News

In perhaps the most historic meeting since incorporation 35 years ago, the Bullhead City Council on Tuesday took small steps that will affect the city’s future for years to come.

The council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Clark County for construction of a bridge at the southern extension of the Bullhead Parkway, then accepted a bid for a little more than $3.2M from McCormick Construction Co. of Bullhead City to build that extension that will provide a connection from the new bridge that crosses the Colorado River from Nevada to Arizona.

The three-hour meeting — which followed a two-hour executive session — also included the retirement of 17 military recognition banners from Bullhead City’s Heroes Highway, a stretch of Highway 95 where banners representing local active-duty armed forces personnel fly.

At its meeting Tuesday morning, the Clark County Board of Commissioners approved its end of the intergovernmental agreement to build the bridge just north of the Mohave Crossroads shopping center near the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse.

“This has been a very long process,” said City Manager Toby Cotter.

Of course, there still is a long process ahead. Cotter said no date has been set for the start of construction; that will be up to Clark County and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Bullhead City is responsible for $4.5M of the estimated $56.3M bridge project. About $21M in federal funds are earmarked for the bridge while the remainder will come from the RTC through its fuel revenue indexing capital improvement program.

“Clark County will be doing the administration of the bridge,” Cotter said.

After quickly approving the intergovernmental agreement, the council took a considerable amount of time before approving the contract with McCormick for the Parkway extension. That isn’t considered part of the federal bridge project but is necessary for the bridge to have any purpose on the Arizona side. Roadwork also will be required on the Nevada side to connect the bridge with Needles Highway in southern Laughlin.

Councilman Steve D’Amico was hesitant to approve the McCormick bid.

“I just want to be sure this happens,” he said of the bridge, expressing a fear that after Bullhead City committed money to build the roadway, Clark County might halt the project, leaving a new road to nowhere on the Arizona side.

“I want a little insurance,” Clark said.

After several attempts to allay D’Amico’s fears, Cotter said he thought Clark County already had too much at stake to kill the project now.

“They have the money,” Cotter said. “They have the plans. I feel very confident that this will get done.”

The council already committed $4.5M — the council voted to do that in June — after Clark County’s portion of the project was estimated at $30M with $21M available. Clark County asked Bullhead City to come up with half of the shortfall of $9M; the council did so after expressing similar concerns that Clark County might approach the city for more money in the future.

The intergovernmental agreement indicates that it won’t. It spells out where funding for the project is coming from. It does not, however, place dates on any of the construction.

Read more at Mohave Valley Daily News.

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