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New Bridge Causing Traffic Woes for Boulder City | Business

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New Bridge Causing Traffic Woes for Boulder City
Business

BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- The new bridge over the Hoover dam was built with the hopes of making travel easier for drivers. But for people in Boulder City, they say it's doing the opposite and hurting business and causing traffic snarls.

When the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Bridge opened in October, it cleared the way for semi-trucks and commercial vehicles to cross near the dam for the first time in years. But people who live in Boulder City don't like the increased traffic and they want another highway built. At least 1,000 more vehicles are passing through Boulder City than a year ago.

A cold windy day doesn't keep Stuart Litjens from working at his family owned business, BoulderBoats.com. While his business specializes in boats, it's cars and trucks that may force his business to sail away.

"It's very frustrating, it's changed our whole quality of life here. The way we get around town has been severely altered. I mean we have to go take other routes. A lot of locals aren't even traveling to certain businesses because they can't get to them," said Litjens.

"Here we've spent all this effort building this incredible bridge, which we all celebrated the opening, but we simply move the traffic problems that were once at the dam, into Boulder City," said Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler.

The mayor says a bypass in Boulder City would help. But in the meantime, the wait may be too severe for business owners like Listens.

"Possibly relocating the business if it becomes an ongoing issue and the solution is a bypass which is years and years and $300 million down the road which is very unlikely, so if it continued, it would certainly change our business model," said Litjens.

The Regional Transportation Commission is also in support of some immediate help.

"We could stand here and point the finger at all sorts of folks but we have to have the resources if we are going to have the infrastructure," said General Manager Jacob Snow, RTC.

Infrastructure that's suppose to help local businesses, not hurt them.

"It's kind of a wait and see. It's such a new thing for us," said Snow.

Nevada Department of Transportation is willing to help Boulder City but need the funds for that bypass and that would cost $300 million.

They are coming up with short term alternatives like a potential truck lane, or widening some lanes. There is also a message displayed on a dynamic message board alerting motorists of the significant delays on U.S. 93 in Boulder City and suggests utilization of an alternate route.

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