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July 30, 2014

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Boulder City: Remove U.S. 93 stretch from Canada, Mexico trucking route

Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

Crews are near completion of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge which opens to traffic in November.

Hoover Dam Bypass Project

The Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge section of the Hoover Dam Bypass Project is seen just south of the Hoover Dam on Aug. 19, 2010. Launch slideshow »

The Boulder City Council has approved a resolution to remove the section of U.S. 93 within its city limits from the trucking route between Mexico and Canada.

With the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge to open in November, city officials worry the increased truck traffic on U.S. 93 could create a safety hazard for both its citizens and drivers. Trucks have not traveled over Hoover Dam since 2001 amid concerns of a terrorist attack in the wake of 9/11.

Mayor Roger Tobler, who introduced the resolution that was approved Aug. 24, said it could also resurrect the Boulder City Bypass project, which has stalled in recent years while state funds have been lacking.

The resolution asserts that “no significant improvements” have been made to U.S. 93 within Boulder City to cope with commercial trucks using the highway daily.

The Canamex route, established under the North American Free Trade Agreement, is the designated course for truck traffic traveling from Mexico to Canada.

Tobler admitted at the meeting he doesn’t expect the resolution to actually achieve its stated purpose. Instead, he hopes to draw the attention of the Nevada Department of Transportation to the city's safety concerns and push for work to be done on the highway, which bisects the city for about six miles.

The city estimates 21,000 vehicles to pass through Boulder City each day when the Hoover Dam Bridge opens Nov. 1. The resolution notes that the influx would “increase noise, pollution, congestion and traffic-related accidents in Boulder City and ultimately impact the quality of life enjoyed by Boulder City residents.”

It also proposes truck traffic remain banned from the Hoover Dam Bridge until the Boulder City Bypass is completed.

The Boulder City Bypass would take through traffic around the city and connect it with U.S. 95 as vehicles approach the Las Vegas Valley. The $300 million project, which NDOT has said it won’t have the funding for until 2025, has struggled to stay alive amid the state budget crisis.

Tolling, currently illegal in Nevada, has been proposed as a means of financing the project.

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