Another Dam Day Trip! (To Hoover Dam)
Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
116Trip End Dec 31, 2007
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The evacuation went very smoothly, as we were all told to leave the building and take the outside elevator up to street level. After standing around up there for about 5 minutes, they started letting everyone back in. Odd that there was not an all-clear signal, and we never heard any more about what, if any problem, there had been.
We got back in the line to descend to the tunnel level (some 500' down), where we could see the original tunnels into which the Colorado River had been diverted when the damn was built, back in the Depression Era. In 1928, the boulder Canyon Project Act authorized the building of the Dam for "flood control; improvement of navigation and regulation of the Colorado River; storage and delivery of Colorado River waters for reclamation of public lands and other beneficial uses exclusively within the United States; and hydroelectric power production." Interestingly enough (and similar to what we learned at Niagara Falls last year), the entire dam construction and power-generating project was completed in only FIVE years - two years ahead of schedule. Construction began in 1931, and the last of the 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete was poured in 1935. They're currently bulding a bridge to alleviate traffic across the dam, and the bridge alone is taking five years! A few details about the Dam - it is an "Arch Gravity" type, with a height of 726 feet, and a Base Width of 660 feet
After the tour, we drove into nearby Boulder City (BTW, early on, the Dam was called Boulder Dam - the name was changed to Hoover Dam in 1947 by an Act of Congress to honor President Hoover, who had signed the bill calling for its construction), where we enjoyed a good old fashioned dinner (hot turkey sandwich for Greg and meatloaf for me) at Bob's Restaurant, which boasted of "Best food by a dam site"!