Hoover Dam in the Black Canyon, located on the borders of Nevada and Arizona is still one of the most intriguing and amazing structures that I have ever had the chance to visit. I am not an engineer like my husband but even I have to marvel at the strength and purpose of this huge concrete structure.
There are have been a lot of articles and posts written about this structure over the years since it was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. Before Hoover Dam was built in the 1800’s and 1900’s flooding often occurred in low lying areas as the Colorado River coursed through the landscape. Often after the flooding which was caused by extra water from melting snow was followed by too dry conditions. Something had to be done to help distribute the water a bit more evenly and the eventual solution was the construction of the greatest dam of its day.
The Hoover Dam (originally known as The Boulder Dam) is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the states of Nevada and Arizona. There are many places to find information about the dam and area online as well as the information that you can obtain when you visit the actual site. Today I will share some fun facts about the dam for your reading pleasure. (My sources are the US Bureau of Reclamation and Mental Floss)
Hoover Dam is 726 ft. tall. That is 171 ft. taller than the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. and twice as tall as the Luxor Casino (338 ft.) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The concrete needed to be cooled and while it normally would have taken years to cool the massive amount ordinarily – engineers created a supersized fridge system that allowed a thousand tons of ice daily to cool the structure.
The dam’s energy helps keep the lights on for customers in California, Arizona, and Nevada and creates enough power for 1.3 million people.
There is enough concrete in Hoover Dam (4 1/2 million cubic yards) to build a 2 lane road from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida or a 4 ft. wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator.
As many as 20,000 vehicles a day drive across the 45 ft. wide top of the dam between Nevada and Arizona. (We did.)
If you drink water from the tap at Disneyland, Anaheim or Sea World in San Diego — that water is coming from the Colorado River and Lake Mead, 300 miles away.
More than 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was used to blast the foundation for the dam and 8 miles of tunnels through the canyon walls.
Every state in the USA furnished supplies and materials for the construction of the dam.
Between 1931 and 1936 when the dam was built, 96 men were killed in industrial accidents. None were buried in the concrete.
In 1939 the US Government discovered a scheme by 2 Nazi agents who had a plan to blow up the dam. The goal to destroy the dam was primarily to hinder the electrical production which in turn would cripple the aviation manufacturing industry in California. Authorities even considered options of camouflaging the dam with a paint job or building a fake dam on another section to deter further plots. The Germans even got to the point of doing on site investigative work before they were discovered.
When operating at full power, the 17 generators can supply all the electricity needed by a city of 750,000 people.Hope you enjoyed your short trip to Hoover Dam today and learned something new. Feel free to leave a comment — all comments go to support our May Comments for a Cause SAFE, Inc.
8 CommentsLeave a comment
My tummy was queasy just looking at those gorgeous photos!!!!! The movie footage of the construction ranks almost as “super human”…..especially considering the early dating of its building!!!!!!
Yes! I agree. There was so much I could have written about all of it but I opted to just do fun facts instead. It is a very powerful and amazing structure.
A very impressive place. Thanks for all the details! Saw this, and drove over it, about 50 years ago!
You were just a baby!!!!
I loved visiting the dam when we went to Las Vegas and would like to go back and do the tour next time! Thanks for sharing your pics! It really is a gorgeous part of the country!!
Muey interesting! I suspect with osha, epa, etc, that it would take far longer to build that today, than it did back then.
Just realized how little I knew about the Hoover Dam. Thanks for sharing these tidbits! Love the photos, too.
Earth’s circumference in yards: 43,826,666
Proposed walkway width: 4 ft (1.3 yd)
Minimum thickness for concrete to be poured into a durable path for travel: 4″ (0.111 yd)
6,492,839 cubic yards at 4″ thick (to be durable enough to not fall apart)
4,869,629 cubic yards at 3″ thick
The Hoover Dam at 4,360,000 cubic yards would make a sidewalk 2.6 inches thick, which would be unbounded concrete and would not be able to be considered a sidewalk.
“All sidewalks shall be at least four inches thick, except where automobile driveways cross the same, in which case the sidewalks shall be at least six inches in thickness for residential driveways and at least eight inches in thickness for commercial and industrial driveways for that portion used as the driveway”