Clark County wants city to pay additional $4.5M for bridge

May 22, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Clark County is looking to Bullhead City for financial assistance — $4.5 million, specifically — to pay for a share of a new bridge over the Colorado River to provide a second link between the city and Laughlin.

The matter will be up for discussion and possible action today during the City Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 1255 Marina Blvd.

Clark County officials are making the request despite the Laughlin Town Advisory Board’s decision last fall not to support the project as envisioned: A four-lane structure between Bullhead Parkway on the Arizona side, a 724-feet-long bridge running above the river into a three-mile extension from Needles Highway.

The summary of the report provided to members of the City Council cited an original project cost of $30 million. By 2015, the estimate had risen to $40 million. Officials on both sides of the river said recently the amount has jumped 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 is being asked to provide half of that amount, $4.5 million.

“Clark County is requesting a cost sharing between both agencies to cover the difference,” Cotter said.

He pointed out in his report that the project could cost less than estimated and he has advocated for modifications such 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 said.

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 road and infrastructure on the Nevada side. Bullhead City already has purchased bonds to fund its original 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; because the planned project would have impacted Rotary Park, federal money could not be used.

That caused a search for another prospective location, with Bullhead City eventually settling on the extension of Bullhead Parkway north of Mohave Crossroads shopping center. After advocating for that location a few years ago, the Laughlin Town Advisory Board pulled its support of the location in December.

Construction of the bridge is expected to take up to two years. Work had been slated to begin this year.

Related change to city’s general plan

Council members will decide earlier in the meeting whether to approve a request that more than 78 acres west of the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse be redesignated as commercial resort from the current medium-density residential. The change would allow for a mix of retail, office, commercial, and high-density residential uses on the two parcels that have land facing the river (2,373 feet) and Bullhead Parkway (1,750 feet). A connection to the bridge project has been “proposed,” according to the staff report.

New frontages would be created along the Parkway extension and the planned Championship Drive. Lodging, restaurants and convenience stores could be built to serve people traveling to and from the fieldhouse.

“The rest of the land would be suited to big-box retail, theatre and entertainment venues as well as green-belt auto-free commercial and residential zones leading to many possible uses of this inclusive rare undeveloped river frontage,” the staff report stated.

It added that high-end projects, such as condominiums, hotels, restaurants and specialty shops, would be suited for the riverfront portion.

Too hasty about moving statues?

Placement of the Poki the Tortoise and Bravo the Bull sculptures will be discussed again.

The council voted May 7 to move Poki to a site near Laughlin Ranch Boulevard and to place Bravo in or near Poki’s current spot near Highway 95 in front of the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Parks and Recreation Commission wants the council to reconsider that decision. Options include moving Poki to another location within Community Park or at First Street on the north end of the park.


Prior to the call to the public, the council will read one proclamation and oversee one presentation, both connected to Memorial Day.

The city proclamation recognizes Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, and Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 9-11, as Buddy Poppy Days in Bullhead City.

The Buddy Poppy program, conducted nationally by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serves as a fundraiser for the organization. It provides compensation to veterans who assembly the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans rehabilitation and service programs and helps support the VFW National Home for Children.

The Tri-State Military Moms will conduct a banner retirement ceremony, retiring military recognition banners that have flown on Heroes Highway – Highway 95 in Bullhead City. Banners are retired when local military members or their sponsor families move from the area or are separated or discharged from active duty.

“The public is encouraged to attend and honor these service members and their families,” said Cindy Frizelle, president of the Tri-State Military Moms.

The Tri-State Military Moms conduct retirement ceremonies and oversee installation of new military recognition banners each year on or around Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Also on the agenda:

Discussion and possible action to approve the 2019-2020 Memorandum of Understanding with the Bullhead City Fraternal Order of Police Officers Association.Discussion and possible action to adopt an intergovernmental agreement between the state and city for administration of the city transaction privilege tax.Discussion and possible action approving an intergovernmental agreement between the city and Mohave County Flood Control District for flood control, and accept an allocation of $880,094.Discussion and possible action about amending the city’s municipal code to reflect changes in state statutes regarding cable TV regulation. Localities no longer will have input on facilities, broadcasting, extensions of service and customer service.During an executive session to be held before the regular meeting, both City Attorney Garn Emery and City Clerk Susan Stein will receive their annual evaluations. No action will be taken.