Clark County asks Bullhead City to pitch in more for new bridge
BULLHEAD CITY — Clark County is looking to Bullhead City for financial assistance — $4.5 million, specifically — to pay for a share of the bridge that would run across the Colorado River and provide a second link between the city and Laughlin.
The matter was up for discussion during Tuesday’s Bullhead City Council meeting, which began after the deadline for this edition of the Laughlin Nevada Times.
Clark County officials are making the request after the Laughlin Town Advisory Board decided last fall not to support the project as currently envisioned: A four-lane structure between Bullhead Parkway on the Arizona side, a bridge that’s 724 feet long running above the river leading into a three-mile extension of Needles Highway.
The summary of the report provided to members of the City Council cites an original $30 million estimated cost. By 2015, the estimate rose to $40 million. Officials on both sides of the river said recently the amount has jumped to a total of up to $58 million.
Clark County, the state of Nevada, and federal sources involved with the project are expected to provide most of the money. However, City Manager Toby Cotter said Nevada funders are seeking $9 million more to fully fund the project. Bullhead City would provide half of that amount, hence the $4.5 million.
“Clark County is requesting a cost sharing between both agencies to cover the difference,” Cotter said.
He also pointed out in his report that the project could cost less than estimated and has advocated for such modifications as reducing the number of lanes from four to two or lessening the amount of aesthetic elements.
“If not, the city would have to commit to spending approximately an additional $4.5 million for the new bridge,” he added.
Bullhead City was asked to pay $3.03 million in infrastructure on the Arizona side at Bullhead Parkway. Clark County, however, would be responsible for
$15.8 million in roads and infrastructure. Bullhead City already has purchased bonds to fund its share of the project.
A plan about a decade ago would have had the bridge start on the Arizona side at Riverview Drive. It was rejected in 2010 because it was federally unlawful, in part because federal funds would have been used on a bridge that would have infringed on Rotary Park.
Construction of the bridge is expected to take up to two years to complete and that work was slated to begin this year, according to previous reports.