Visiting The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead in Nevada
The Hoover Dam is an engineering feat that has not been duplicated in recent years. Straddling the boarder between Arizona and Nevada on the Colorado River, the world famous dam serves as the main source of electrical power, irrigation, and flood control for the entire Southwestern United States. In addition to serving the necessary duties of a dam, the Hoover Dam is also a tremendous tourist destination and draws millions of visitors each year!
The Hoover Dam is indeed named after the country’s 31st President Herbert Hoover; however, the politician was supporting the project long before he ever took the oath of office. During his stint as the Secretary of Commerce, Hoover began developing a plan that would tame the unruly Colorado River and provide necessary electricity and irrigation to the peoples of Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. The result was legislation called the Boulder Canyon Project Act and was passed in 1928.
The Hoover Dam was completed in a record five years; work being started in the year 1930. At the time of its completion, the dam was the largest in the entire world. To expedite the project, engineers developed a technique that cooled and hardened the concrete quickly. In this way, the project time was cut from ten years to five. The cost of the dam was a mere $ 49,000,000 while the Boulder Canyon Project, comprising of Hoover Dam, Imperial Dam, and the American Canal had a cost of $ 165,000,000.
A project of this size does give birth to legends. It is estimated that 16,000 men and women toiled day and night to complete the project. Some casualties did take place, put no one is buried inside the walls of this dam, as popularly believed.