Hoover Dam visitation goes up since opening of bypass bridge

Visits to Hoover Dam have increased since the new O’Callaghan-Tillman Bridge over the Colorado River was opened in mid-October, a federal official said this week.

Colleen Dwyer, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation that operates the dam and its visitors center, said the bureau measures visitation by the number of people who take guided tours there.

She said a monthly increase of about 2,700 people took a tour of the dam between November and February.

“A lot of folks have been mentioning that they came out here to see the bridge and while they were looking at the dam from the bridge they decided to come on down for a little closer look,” Dwyer said.

She said it will be interesting to measure visitation during the peak months of June and July. She said about 85,000 people toured the dam in those months last year. About 57,000 people toured the dam in November.

Annual visitation exceeded 1 million at the dam before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but visitation numbers have dropped considerably over the past 10 years, she said.

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