It’s been a long and interesting journey that will come to its conclusion at noon on Thursday. Interstate 11 otherwise known as the Boulder City Bypass, will open for travel. This new highway will cut around the historic town of Boulder City and for those traveling to or from Arizona and Las Vegas could cut about 20 minutes off your journey.
The 15 miles of highway was supposed to open in October, but the conditions and the highway gods were on our side and they were able to do it all before then! This means that Bould City Backup goes away. When coming from Las Vegas, heading to Arizona, you used to have to stop at the light in Boulder City on Hwy 93, make a left-hand turn to head down the hill to the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. That left-hand turn was often the cause of hours long backup in traffic.
Not to mention coming from Arizona, having to come off the bridge at highway speed then try to navigate up the long, steep hill where the maximum speed was regulated at 45MPH. Causing long-haul truckers and those pulling trailers and campers to shift to a lower gear, make a lot of engine noises and again, slow down traffic to make the right-hand turn in Boulder City to head into Las Vegas.
Killing Traffic, Saving a City?
The new bypass will cut 30% of the traffic coming thru Boulder City. The historic town that was originally built to house the workers and their families that were building Hoover Dam during the Great Depression. Now we will see just how much of that traffic actually stayed to shop or visit Boulder City and if it will hurt the towns tourist economy. How much of it will return once Boulder City is not in their view but is now just a turn off on the freeway?
Many of the tiny shops and stores that line the main street in Boulder City, have yet to catch on that they will need to join the online world to let the world know they exist. Some have seemed to take the “wait and see” approach before trying anything new in attracting the lost potential business because of the bypass.
The Dam Lake Connection
If you want to visit the Hoover Dam or Lake Mead National Park, you will still have to travel thru Boulder City. But now you won’t be so panicked about the traffic backup and I think that may be the saving grace of all this. People wanting to use the lake or visit the Dam will now be encouraged to slow down and enjoy the slower pace of life in downtown Boulder City. They will not be so worried about dealing with the truck traffic, the long line for the turn-off or any other congestion issues and just slow down and see why Boulder City bills itself as “A world Away for a Day!”
This is the only town in Nevada where gambling is still illegal and has a limit on housing construction. The population of the town is only about sixteen thousand! It is a small town surviving right next to the metropolis of Las Vegas.
.So either way, enjoy the new bypass and let us know what you think!