Hoover Dam, An Engineering Marvel (10 Photos)

The Hoover Dam is one of the most impressive feats of human engineering.  It’s located on the Nevada/Arizona state line about 30 miles from Las Vegas.  It was built between 1931-1936 during The Great Depression.  It was named for Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, who had proposed the dam years earlier while serving as Secretary of Commerce for California.  The dam itself is around 726 feet tall and was built with 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete.

1: View of Hoover Dam from the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. While the bridge is relatively new, its walkway offers splendid views of the dam and surrounding landscape. It’s well worth the physical exertion.

2: A more recent addition to the area, the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, was built in 2010 to reroute traffic from across the Hoover Dam. This was due to congestion, safety, and security concerns. The bridge was named for former Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan, and former NFL athlete Pat Tillman, who enlisted in the military following 9/11, and was later killed in a friendly fire incident.

3: A fantastic view of the Colorado River as it exits the Hoover Dam from the dam itself, with the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge crossing the chasm.

4: A plaque at the state line between Arizona and Nevada commemorates the Hoover Dam being designated one of the Seven Civil Engineering Wonders of the United States. Also included on this list are landmarks like the Empire State Building in New York, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

5: These are called Penstock (intake) towers. Each one is almost 400 feet high, and are used to draw in water for the generator turbines. The majority of their length is hidden under water.

6: Generator turbines in one of two power plants. Hoover Dam generates about 4 Billion kilowatt hours of electricity on average, enough to supply around 1.3 million people.

7: Huge water pipes feed water to the generators.

8: The floors and walls of the interior are decorated with Native American motifs by Denver artist Allen Tupper True, who’s murals decorate public buildings throughout the west.

9: This statue was created in 1998 by sculptor Steven Liguori to commemorate the most dangerous job during the Hoover Dam’s construction, the high scaler. Their job involved climbing the cliff walls to set explosive charges and knocking away loose rock with a jackhammer.

10: A view of Lake Mead, which is the largest water reservoir in the United States. It now serves as a major recreation area. Lake Mead was created when the obstruction of Hoover Dam caused the flooding Boulder Canyon in 1938. The creation of Lake Mead was not without its controversy, it contains the remains of an underwater ghost town called St. Thomas, founded in 1865, and also destroyed hundreds of square miles of natural habitat.

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