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Traffic Battle Between Boulder City, Bullhead City

It’s an easy concept to understand: the more vehicles on the road, the higher the chances are for motor vehicle accidents to occur. These collisions cause pain and monetary losses for those involved, put additional strain on police and paramedics to respond to them, and snarl traffic and create inconvenience for other drivers. As a result, cities try to do whatever they can to minimize the number of motor vehicle accidents.

Which brings us to a conflict between Boulder City, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona.

After 9/11, federal officials closed Hoover Dam to traffic for security reasons. This move took Las Vegas-bound vehicles wanting to cross the Colorado River and routed them through Bullhead City about 80 miles south of Vegas. In response, the federal government built the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the river on Highway 93 near Boulder City last year in an effort to make it easier for travelers from the east to get to Las Vegas.

But recently, Boulder City claimed that its existing roads could not handle the upswing in traffic from the newly-opened bridge. So the state has decided to widen Highway 93 through Boulder City to compensate for the increase in vehicles. But that construction will take time – and Boulder City wants to close the new bridge and route the traffic back through Bullhead City until this roadwork is completed. Predictably, Bullhead City is resisting this idea.

Neither city wants to shoulder the inconvenience and problems associated with more traffic (and the likely jump in motor vehicle accidents). So it remains to be seen how this problem will be resolved, though the federal government will likely have to intervene in some way. But it appears that one of these cities will soon be shouldering the burden of more cars and trucks and higher accident rates.