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Monday, August 1, 2011

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam (once called Boulder Dam) spans the Colorado River in Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada,  about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas.  Hoover Dam's construction began in 1931 and was completed in five years.  There were about 16,000 total men and women who worked on that project,  with about 3,500 employed at a specific time.

Our First Views from above ---after driving across the dam and turning around
Hoover Dam was built as a source of hydroelectic power generations,  to provide water for agricultural purposes and to prevent flooding.  When finished,  it was the largest electric-power generating site in the world ,  as well as the largest structure made out of concrete.

The new bridge crossing the canyon
Hoover Dam is 726 feet high and 1, 244 feet across at the top.  And it is 660 feet thick at the base and 45 feet thick at the top.  It can store up two years 'average' flow from the Colorado River. The dam contains over 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete... You have to see this place to believe that!!!! It's hard to imagine that much concrete.  Wow!

The bridge above us;  Note the ruggedness of the canyon;  The Colorado River below;
After seeing the Hoover Dam,  I can only imagine what it would cost to build TODAY.  Back then,  its cost was only $49,000,000.  There are 96,000,000 pounds of steel and metalwork used by the dam---but none of it is IN the dam... Again,  you have to see it!!

Can you imagine building all of this on those huge rocks/boulders?
It was the job of high scalers to hang dangerously by rope above the canyon to blast and remove weakened and loose rocks from the face of the Black Canyon cliffs --where the ends of the dam would join.

The best views of the entire dam are from that new bridge.  George went up there to get photos. That is Lake Mead in the background.
The Colorado River had to be diverted before construction could begin.  The riverbed had to be dredged clear of deep silt and sediment to expose a bedrock foundation for the building of Hoover Dam.  It was a tedious process of digging four diversion tunnels through canyon walls that would divert river flow around the dam site to join the Colorado River farther downstream.

The view of the water below the dam.  Can you imagine that much electrical equipment?
Hope you enjoyed seeing our pictures of the Hoover Dam.  We did not go to the visitor center nor did we take a tour into the dam.  We drove across it --and then turned around and went above it to get photos.  IF you haven't been there,  please go.  It's awesome --and needs to be seen in person.  AND---be sure to walk back up to the new bridge (the Mike O'Callaghan -Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge) to get the best pictures of the entire dam.

On another note,  I cannot say THANKS enough for all of your sweet comments and emails to me after my Friday blog post about the death of one of my best friends.  We are driving to Atlanta TODAY to attend the funeral.   Thanks again and God Bless ALL of you.

Hugs,