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2nd Laughlin-Bullhead City bridge not forgotten

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. -- Officials on both sides of the Colorado River say the idea of building a second bridge between Bullhead City and Laughlin, Nev., remains alive despite little to show for years of discussion and debate.

However, the proposed second bridge may shrink to fit available funding amid some continued grumbling about the likely site.

Many residents of Bullhead City work in casino-resorts in Laughlin. The two towns are now linked by only one bridge.

Prominent Laughlin developer Bob Bilbray says he remains skeptical about the chosen site, but Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter says he and Laughlin Town Manager Jackie Brady confirm there's agreement about the site.

That site has cleared environmental reviews and Brady says it wouldn't make sense to move the project to another location and start the process over again.

The Mohave Daily News reports that the option currently under consideration is to scale down the project from four lanes to two lanes for cost reasons.

Bullhead City Public Works Director Pawan Agrawal said he believes the bridge and its approaches can be built for the $18.5 million on hand.

Cotter said he'd like to ask the federal government for more money but that doesn't appear realistic because of Washington's budget problems.

``That $18 million is not going to sit there forever, and somebody's got to move and start something and it's got to be on their side of the river.'' said Bullhead City Mayor Jack Hakim, referring to Nevada.

Even Bilbray said he doesn't think he doesn't think the site decision will be revisited.

``I don't think the city council over there has any appetite at all to open up this site issue again,'' he said. ``I really don't. And if I were them, I wouldn't either. It was just too hot an issue and I don't think it's going to be any less now.''

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