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Hoover Dam, Arizona, USA — a National Historic Landmark

Hoover Dam, Arizona / border to Nevada [photo: May 2006)
Hoover Dam, Arizona / border to Nevada [photo: May 2006)

The Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.

Hoover Dam is a testimony to a country’s ability to construct monolithic projects in the midst of adverse conditions. Built during the Depression; thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than five years, in a harsh and barren land, to build the largest dam of its time. Now, years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure.

It took 5 years to build the dam, powerplant, and appurtenant structures.
The contractors were allowed seven years from April 20, 1931, but concrete placement in the dam was completed May 29, 1935, and all features were completed by March 1, 1936.
A total of 21,000 men worked on the Dam with an average of 3,500 and a maximum of 5,218 daily, which occurred in June 1934. The average monthly payroll was $500,000.

Visiting Hoover Dam

In Black Canyon on the Colorado River, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas (Nevada) on US Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border.

Hoover Dam – Open to the public everyday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Hoover Dam Tours – Open everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hoover Dam Tours are closed two days per year in observance of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Hoover Dam Tour

The different tours are the way to see, learn and appreciate what Hoover Dam is all about. Choose among the Visitor Center Tour, the Dam Tour, and the Power Plant Tour.

Details and pricing to be found here on the official Hoover Dam website: https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/

Dam Dimensions

  • Height – 726.4.feet (221.3 meters)
  • Length at Crest – 1,244 feet (379.2 meters)
  • Width at Top – 45 feet (13.7 meters)
  • Width at Base – 660 feet (201.2 meters)
  • Weight – 6.6 million tons

The downstream side of the top of dam walkway is a circular arc with a 500 foot radius. Along a straight line, the top of the dam arch would measure about 860 feet. Measured along the curvature, the top of dam crest length is 1244 feet. The upstream face and downstream face have compound curvatures, which means they are curved from canyon wall to canyon wall AND from top to bottom.

Reservoir Statistics

  • Capacity – 28,537,000 acre-feet (35,200,000,000 cubic meters)
  • Length – 110 miles (177 kilometers)
  • Shoreline – 550 miles (885 kilometers)
  • Max Depth – 500 feet (152 meters)
  • Surface Area – 157,000 acres (63,900 hectares)

Quantities of Materials Used in Project

  • Concrete – 4.440,000 cubic yards
  • Explosives – 6,500,000 pounds
  • Plate Steel and Outlet Pipes – 88,000,000 pounds
  • Pipe and Fittings – 6,700,00 pounds (840 miles)
  • Reinforcement Steel – 45,000,000 pounds

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