Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona

Day 632

     Hoover Dam is located on the Nevada/Arizona border in the Black Canyon. Back at the turn of the century (I guess I now have to specify which century, that is from 1800 over to 1900) the melting snow from the Colorado Mountains forms the river of the same name. The river passes through 7 states before exiting in the California Bay. Some years the water was so much it flooded the entire California lowlands, and other years the river dried up before reaching there, causing sever droughts. The Dam was the solution, but the 7 states could not agree on how to manage the water.

     Finally, in 1921, Herbert Clark Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, had a conference with all the states and the Boulder Dam Project was created. The Dam was originally going to be built in Boulder Canyon, but later it was determined Black Canyon was a better choice, nevertheless the Project name remained the same. In fact, after the Dam was completed in 1936, it was called Boulder Dam until the name changed to Hoover Dam in 1947.

     Tidbit of Information: On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a law that made “The Star-Spangled Banner,” based on an 1814 poem by Francis Scott Key, America’s national anthem.

     I would give you all the statistics of the Dam, but I see you are becoming bored. 

     We took a tour of the Dam.

     We saw the generators that turned water into electricity

     The Dam is not one poured piece of concrete, but hundreds of poured blocks of concrete that are interlace with each other. On the inside you can see where they are joined. Each is identified. 

     Sensors are placed throughout the Dam to detect movement.

     You can see where the inspection tubes are located in the Dam walls. 

     Water does not flow over the Dam. To turn the generators, water goes through passages at the base of the Dam, thru the generators. During flooding of the river, there are spillways on each side of the Dam for overflow. Water usually goes no higher that the middle of the Dam.

     To build the Dam the Colorado River had to be diverted. When the Dam was competed it took the Colorado River 6 years to fill the reservoir behind the Dam, named Lake Mead, the largest man made reservoir in North America and named after Dr. Elwood Mead, a world-renowned water and irrigation engineer, who worked on the Dam project and died shortly after it’s completion.

     In taking a tour of the Dam, we went to one of the air-vent holes in the center. Here is the vent hole from above,


and where I looked out from it.

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