The Hoover Dam spans the Colorado River in Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada. Construction of the dam began in 1930 and was completed in less than five years and was two years ahead of schedule. The Hoover Dam was named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century. Attracting more than a million visitors a year, it continues to draw crowds more than 70 years after its creation.
Backstory and Context
The Hoover Dam was once known as the Boulder Dam. It is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It is on the border of Arizona and Nevada. It was dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 30, 1935. During the construction of the dam, over one hundred workers were killed.
At 727 feet high and 1,244 feet long, and weighing more than 6.6 million tons, the Hoover Dam was one of the largest man-made structures in the world at the time it was constructed. It was also one of the world’s largest producers of hydroelectric power. At the dam’s base, where the maximum pressure is 45,000 pounds per square foot, are huge generators that could produce up to 3 million horsepower and provide electricity for three states. The building of the dam also created Lake Mead. This lake extends for 550 miles of shoreline and 247 miles of area. It is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.
There are two available tours of the dam that are well worth the time and money spent. One tour is called the Hoover Dam Power Plant Tour and costs $11 per person. The other tour is called the New Dam Tour and costs $30 per person. The Hoover Dam was the largest dam in the world until 1948. Although it is not the largest anymore, it remains one of the biggest and best known dams in the world.