Bridge History

It took eight years from conception to completion to build "The Big Dam Bridge". There have been many who wondered about that name. How did it get that name? Was it just a marketing ploy or a statement of the obvious, a big bridge on a dam. It was a little of both and more. The first two or three years were tough, pulling together several federal, state and local agencies. There was some resistance. The design was complex. The cost were great. There came a time when everyone involved was ready to quit.
 
I walked into one of those meetings where the frustrations were running high with the tone and attitude of giving up. My response was simple, "we are going to build that dam bridge". There was a pause and then laughter as people realized that I said "dam" instead of "damn". But it served its purpose. That became an expression of resolve as we moved forward.
 
When we were preparing for the opening, I took the planning group, Denver Peacock and Jordan Johnson, up on the bridge. I Think the comment was, "wow, this is big". To which I responded, "yes, it's a big dam bridge". They recognized the marketing value for the opening and beyond.
 
Thus, we have "THE BIG DAM BRIDGE".
 - Judge Buddy Villines

Big Dam Bridge Gallery

Bridge Facts

14 feet wide
8 observation areas
4226 linear feet of bridge
679 feet of walled embankment
54 inches to the top of the handrail
Approaches to the bridge are 5% grade
72 ft. above Arkansas River upstream
90 ft. above Arkansas River downstream
Contains over 3 million lbs of steel
Contains over 24 million lbs of concrete
160 L.E.D. light fixtures on the piers
16 L.E.D. light fixtures on the towers
63 light fixtures for walkway illumination
Capable of holding two 36" utility pipelines