North America

Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam, from the time of its inception, is a structure that has etched a place in the hearts of many, not only in the United States of America, but also all over the world. This is because, with a structure being so phenomenally huge, and with the connotations it makes with the history of the place, there is just no way that this structure would be a addition to the nation’s history. Add to that the fact, that the Hoover Dam has been featured in a number of movies, especially those belonging to the realm of action, and you know that is one amongst some of the greatest features of the United States.

The construction of Hoover Dam began in 1931. The construction of the colossal feature was completed in an epic and astonishing period of five years. The idea behind the building of the Hoover Dam was a three-pronged agenda: this dam was meant to be a major source of power generated through hydroelectricity; the dam was meant to provide water for the carrying out of agricultural purposes; and stop, to a large extent, the impact of flooding rivers.

The construction of Hoover Dam was done under the conglomeration of six different companies, and was aptly named the Six Companies Inc. These six companies that took part in the construction of Hoover Dam included Morrison-Knudsen, the Utah Construction Company, the Pacific Bridge Company, the Bechtel Corporation/Henry J. Kaiser, MacDonald and Kahn and J.F. Shea. The completion of the structure slated this dam to be the largest to have been created for the purpose of electricity generation around the world. It was also the single largest concrete structure to have ever been built all over the world. Weighing more than six and a half million tons, this behemoth structure contains more than three million cubic yards of concrete. To get an idea of how much concrete this is, you can compare it to the amount of concrete that would be needed for the construction of a highway between San Francisco and New York (more than two and a half thousand miles). Located on the eighteenth longest river in the United States, the Colorado, this colossal structure is named after the president at the time, Herbert Hoover. The water body that has been created because of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, got its name from the main authoritative figure who was in charge of the construction of the Dam, Elwood Mead.

The Hoover Dam Stands tall at a height of seven hundred and twenty seven feet. It would take a person to cross one thousand, two hundred and forty four feet to the top. Being thickest at the base, this structure is six hundred and sixty feet thick. At its thinnest, at the top, the depth here is forty-five feet. The storage capacity of this dam is capable of collecting as much water as the Colorado River would have in two average years. The total storage capacity if measured in feet would be 30 500 000 acre feet. Lake Mead has a surface area of 146 000 acres. The Lake Mead at its deepest is 590 feet. At the maximum elevation, this Lake reaches 1229 feet. The Lake Mead stretches over a distance of a hundred and fifteen miles.

The Hoover Dam has a total of seventeen turbines. While one of the turbines works at a rate of 86 000 horsepower, one at 100 000 horsepower and the rest of the fifteen at 178 000 horsepower each.

The capacity generation of the power plant over here is 2.8 million kilo watts. It cost the authorities a relatively cheap $49 000 000 to build Hoover Dam. The Hoover dam is only one part of the Boulder Canyon Project. Along with the Imperial Dam and the American Canal, the Boulder Canyon project cost a total of $165 000 000 when it was ready.

The Hoover dam has a grand total of 4 360 000 cubic yards of concrete that was used in its construction. There was more than 96 000 000 pounds of steel and metalwork used for the construction of the dam. Contrary to the rumor that keeps popping up from time, no one has been buried in the dam. The building of the dam led to employment opportunities and jobs for a total of 16 000 men and women. According to the executive records of the constructing company, there were ninety six people who died during the construction of the dam due to industrial reasons.

The Hoover Dam saw the beginning of its construction on 30 September 1930. The final layer of concrete for the dam project was poured in 1935. The construction of the dam saw a very heavy use of masonry work. In fact, not since the creation of the Great Pyramids of Giza had anyone seen the use of more masonry. The reason that the construction of the Hoover Dam was complete in such a record time was the fact that the construction company made use of cooling tubes to cool the concrete that was poured. In normal circumstances, without the use of cooling tubes, it would take the construction of the dam more than a hundred years to complete. This dam at one point of time was the highest in the world. Today it is the eighteenth highest. Not only is the dam important from the point of view of energy generation, it also provides water to more than twenty-five million people in the southwestern region of the United States of America.

The best part about this dam is the fact that it produces such a large amount of clean energy. The energy that is produced over here is one that is free of green house gas emissions, although green house emissions were let out in large amounts during the construction of the dam.