Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez was on hand to watch the new bridge on I-15 at Exit 120 slide into place. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.
"This project is a bridge to our community and our economic future," Mesquite Mayor Mark Wier told an audience of dignitaries, local citizens, and out of town guests Tuesday night, Jan. 10 at the I-15 Exit 120 Interchange construction site where a piece of Nevada state history was made.
Using a process called Accelerated Bridge Construction, the general contractor W.W. Clyde and Horrocks Engineers slid into place a 117-foot long bridge that had been fully constructed approximately six feet from its eventual home. It only took a couple months to build the bridge and about three hours to move it into place. (See Mesquite Citizen Journal slide show at the end of this story.)
"We are witnesses tonight of innovation in action," commented Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, who was on hand to watch the bridge slide along with officials from Nevada Department of Transportation, Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, the Clark County Commission, and of course, several Mesquite City Councilmen, Geno Withelder, Kraig Hafen, and Karl Gustaveson.
"I would like to express our appreciation and thanks on behalf of the City of Mesquite to Zoe Coleman of the RTC, Kurt Sawyer, Interim City Manager, and the Hafen Family," Wier commented. "Without the efforts and generosity of these people, we would not be standing here
tonight. Zoe and Kurt found the funding for this project and the Hafens generously donated a large parcel of land to make it happen."
"I would like to thank Del Taco and Walmart for allowing us to use their facilities," he added.
"It will connect Falcon Ridge to Leavitt Land and Hafen Lane, offering easier access to our southern streets and homes. For short term economic gain, this $14 million dollar project has put 100 people to work and created 25 new jobs," Wier continued.
"In the long run, reconstructing Exit 120 will improve Mesquite's economic stability. With the addition of Exit 118 in the future, these improvements provide the access we needto increase the commercial traffic that will help to diversity our local economy," he said.
"This project is a bridge to our community and our economic future. Thank you for your commitment and support in making Mesquite the best city in Nevada to call home," Wier concluded.
Originally projected to cost approximately $29 million dollars and take two years to complete, the whole interchange reconstruction is slated to cost $14 million with a projected completion date in early June. "Because of the design/build concept and the type of bridge construction, we won't have to suffer through construction for two years," Sawyer commented after the ceremony.