Constructed between 1931 & 1936 on the Colorado River between Arizona & Nevada, Hoover Dam is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the industrial world. The dam was built to control floods & provide irrigation & hydroelectric pwer for parts of Nevada, Arizona & California & would require 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete. A concrete project of this scale had never been tried & some of the proposed methods were unproven. Designed by California architect Gordon Kaufman, Hoover Dam would be an arch-gravity dam presenting a convex face toward the water, thick on the bottom & thin at the top.The construction contract was awarded to a joint venture called Six Companies, Inc. & construction was managed by chief engineer Frank Crowe. Before the dam could even be built, the river needed to be diverted away from the construction site. To acomplish this four diversion tunnels were cut through the canyon walls. Once the tunnels were constructed, rubble was dumped into the river forcing the flow off its natural course, through the tunnels & around the construction site like a "D" File. This alone is a staggering accomplishment. Employment would reach 5,251 men 112 of which would lose their lives. Despite the magnitude of the project, summer heat averaging 120 degrees, lack of nearby facilities & the occaisional labor strike, the dam was completed more than two years ahead of schedule. Though man can not always control nature, the Hoover Dam stands as a testiment to his ability to tame & use nature to bring prosperity to an otherwise inhospitable land.
When Hoover Dam was constructed, Route 93 went across its top. This was deemed too dangerous considering the amount of traffic expected so a bridge was built over the Colorado River redirecting traffic. It was named in honor of 1971-1979 Governor of NV & decorated Korean War veteran Mike O'Callaghan & Pat Tillman who sacrificed a lucrative career with the Arizona Cardinals football team to enlist as an infantryman with the US Army. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
Hoover Dam impounds Lake Meade, the largest reservoir in the US by volume.
Statue commemorating the Hoover Dam construction worker
Memorial to those who died building Hoover Dam
Memorial at Hoover Dam
Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
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