From Spanish missionaries to American entrepreneurs, the Colorado had offered a challenge. [101], Lake Mead and downstream releases from the dam also provide water for both municipal and irrigation uses. Each spillway's capacity of 200,000 cu ft/s (5,700 m3/s) was empirically verified in post-construction tests in 1941. The curving arch of the dam would transmit the water's force into the abutments, in this case the rock walls of the canyon. Hoover Dam, formerly called Boulder Dam, dam in Black Canyon on the Colorado River, at the Arizona - Nevada border, U.S. Built during the Great Depression, the dam would tame the flood-prone Colorado River southeast of Las Vegas―protecting cities and farms, generating cheap electricity to supply power to homes and industry, and providing work for thousands who desperately needed jobs. Hoover Dam began operations in 1936. [134] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, cited for its engineering innovations. More than 582 miles (937 km) of cooling pipes were placed within the concrete. Hoover Dam is a colossal hydroelectric dam on the Colorado River, on the border between Nevada and Arizona. [132] In 1947, a bill passed both Houses of Congress unanimously restoring the name "Hoover Dam. Answer 1 of 15: Planning a family all ladies trip to Las Vegas this summer. [92] To make the powerhouse roof bombproof, it was constructed of layers of concrete, rock, and steel with a total thickness of about 3.5 feet (1.1 m), topped with layers of sand and tar. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. They lacked sufficient resources even in combination with their longtime partners, Morrison-Knudsen, which employed the nation's leading dam builder, Frank Crowe. These tunnels were 56 ft (17 m) in diameter. [90] Hansen's bas-relief on the Nevada elevator tower depicts the benefits of the dam: flood control, navigation, irrigation, water storage, and power. Nowadays this amount is about 788 million pounds. The dam was described in minute detail, covering 100 pages of text and 76 drawings. Tierney who drowned on December 20, 1922 in a flash flood, while looking for an ideal spot for the dam. The dam is not listed among the world’s largest dams, but it is certainly among the tallest, with its heavy concrete walls being 222 meters high. [96], The amount of electricity generated by Hoover Dam has been decreasing along with the falling water level in Lake Mead due to the prolonged drought in the 2010s and high demand for the Colorado River's water. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The bas-relief on the Arizona elevator depicts, in his words, "the visages of those Indian tribes who have inhabited mountains and plains from ages distant. [10], In the following years, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), known as the Reclamation Service at the time, also considered the Lower Colorado as the site for a dam. Quail Lakes & Coal: Energy for Wildlife ... and the World, 2013, page 60, Bureau of Reclamation: Lower Colorado Region - Hoover Dam, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Article I of the United States Constitution, Chinese benevolent association in the city, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, List of dams in the Colorado River system, List of largest hydroelectric power stations, List of largest hydroelectric power stations in the United States, List of National Historic Landmarks in Arizona, List of National Historic Landmarks in Nevada, "Sharing Colorado River Water: History, Public Policy and the Colorado River Compact", "Impacts of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Failure on Geology, Civil Engineering, and America", "Lower Colorado Bureau of Reclamation: Hoover Dam, Facts and Figures", "Hoover Dam: Grout Curtain Failure and Lessons Learned in Site Characterization", American Heritage's Invention & Technology, "OPERATION PLAN FOR COLORADO RIVER SYSTEM RESERVOIRS", "Lake Mead Drops to its Lowest-Ever Level", "Drought Diminishes Hydropower Capacity in Western U.S.", "Receding Lake Mead poses challenges to Hoover Dam's power output", "Los Angeles considers $3B pumped storage project at Hoover Dam", "City Of Los Angeles Wants To Turn Hoover Dam Into World's Largest Pumped Energy Storage Facility", "President signs Hoover Dam Power Allocation Act", "House, after stiff debate, backs cheap power for 3 Western states", "Crossing Hoover Dam: A Guide for Motorists", "The Hoover Dam – Everything You Need to Know About Visiting", "Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program", "Resurrecting the Dammed: A Look at Colorado River Restoration", 10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0998:RTDALA]2.0.CO;2, "A Conservation Plan for Native Fishes of the Lower Colorado River", 10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0219:ACPFNF]2.0.CO;2, "Macrofaunal and isotopic estimates of the former extent of the Colorado River estuary, upper Gulf of California, México", "Science and Values in River Restoration in the Grand Canyon", Historic Construction Company Project – Hoover Dam, Hoover Dam, Spanning Colorado River at Route 93, Boulder City, Clark County, NV, Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum official site, Brownstone Canyon Archaeological District, Gold Strike Canyon-Sugarloaf Mountain Traditional Cultural Property, Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs (AZ:F:14:98 ASM), Las Vegas High School Academic Building and Gymnasium, Las Vegas High School Neighborhood Historic District, Old Spanish Trail/Mormon Road Historic District, Sheep Mountain Range Archeological District, National Register of Historic Places listings in Nevada, Birthplace and childhood home National Historic Site, Presidential Library, Museum, and gravesite, International Boundary and Water Commission,, Buildings and monuments honoring American Presidents in the United States, Buildings and structures in Clark County, Nevada, Buildings and structures in Mohave County, Arizona, Dams on the National Register of Historic Places in Nevada, Energy infrastructure on the National Register of Historic Places, Historic American Engineering Record in Arizona, Historic American Engineering Record in Nevada, Industrial buildings and structures on the National Register of Historic Places in Arizona, National Register of Historic Places in Mohave County, Arizona, Tourist attractions in Clark County, Nevada, Tourist attractions in Mohave County, Arizona, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Wikipedia pending changes protected pages, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Power, flood control, water storage, regulation, recreation, Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 13:17. [30], The city of Las Vegas had lobbied hard to be the headquarters for the dam construction, closing its many speakeasies when the decision maker, Secretary of the Interior Ray Wilbur, came to town. The Bureau of Reclamation, more concerned with the dam's functionality, adorned it with a Gothic-inspired balustrade and eagle statues. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The Hoover Reservoir was built on Big Walnut Creek in the early 1950s in the Westerville area and spans Franklin and Delaware counties. [59], The cleared, underlying rock foundation of the dam site was reinforced with grout, forming a grout curtain. [50] Their combined length was nearly 16,000 ft, or more than 3 miles (5 km). [46] Two days later, the remainder were talked into leaving by law enforcement. [22] The Boulder Canyon Project Act[23] appropriated $165 million for the Hoover Dam along with the downstream Imperial Dam and All-American Canal, a replacement for Beatty's canal entirely on the U.S. side of the border. Las Vegas, then a small city of some 5,000, saw between 10,000 and 20,000 unemployed descend on it. On this day in 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. [106][107] The powerhouse was run under the original authorization by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison; in 1987, the Bureau of Reclamation assumed control. [26], On January 10, 1931, the Bureau made the bid documents available to interested parties, at five dollars a copy. To meet the deadline, Six Companies had to complete work by early 1933, since only in late fall and winter was the water level in the river low enough to safely divert. The strike ended. [85] The images and colors are based on Native American visions of rain, lightning, water, clouds, and local animals—lizards, serpents, birds—and on the Southwestern landscape of stepped mesas. The sidewalls were poured next. [127] Unknown to the general public, Attorney General Homer Cummings informed Ickes that Congress had indeed used the name "Hoover Dam" in five different bills appropriating money for construction of the dam. The Story of Hoover Dam - Articles. A total of 58 of the 393 holes were incompletely filled. Surrounding the base of the monument is a terrazzo floor embedded with a "star map". Six Companies ordered thousands of what initially were called "hard boiled hats" (later "hard hats") and strongly encouraged their use. [7] Though water from the Imperial Canal allowed for the widespread settlement of the valley, the canal proved expensive to operate. [27], The Wattis Brothers, heads of the Utah Construction Company, were interested in bidding on the project, but lacked the money for the performance bond. [54] The cofferdams were designed to protect against the possibility of the river's flooding a site at which two thousand men might be at work, and their specifications were covered in the bid documents in nearly as much detail as the dam itself. As the required grade of aggregate in the concrete differed depending on placement in the dam (from pea-sized gravel to 9 inches (230 mm) stones), it was vital that the bucket be maneuvered to the proper column. Read more. Some types of vehicles were inspected prior to crossing the dam while semi-trailer trucks, buses carrying luggage, and enclosed-box trucks over 40 ft (12 m) long were not allowed on the dam at all, and were diverted to U.S. Route 95 or Nevada State Routes 163/68. [84] With the assistance of the National Laboratory of Anthropology, True researched authentic decorative motifs from Indian sand paintings, textiles, baskets and ceramics. When the bottom of the bucket opened up, disgorging 8 cu yd (6.1 m3) of concrete, a team of men worked it throughout the form. When I lived in Las Vegas and visited the dam, I didn't know how complex the construction was. The spillways and outlet works (jet-flow gates) are rarely used. First power was produced in October 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule. To put such large bronzes into place without marring the highly polished bronze surface, they were placed on ice and guided into position as the ice melted. The wedge-shaped dam would be 660 ft (200 m) thick at the bottom, narrowing to 45 ft (14 m) at the top, leaving room for a highway connecting Nevada and Arizona. [13] Though the Fall-Davis report called for a dam "at or near Boulder Canyon", the Reclamation Service (which was renamed the Bureau of Reclamation the following year) found that canyon unsuitable. Its construction echoed that of the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression; like the dam, it became a concrete sign of resilience, rising against the odds of both nature and the economy with what Mr. Stillings calls “Mad Max-ian massiveness.” James Stillings. Frank Crow, was the Chief Engineer of Hoovered Dam and was assigned the job to get it completed in the span from 1931 - 1935. Since the dam was an arch-gravity type, the side-walls of the canyon would bear the force of the impounded lake. The construction site had, even then, become a magnet for tourists; the high scalers were prime attractions and showed off for the watchers. The resulting Colorado River Compact was signed on November 24, 1922. [91] The powerhouse was one of the projects uncompleted at the time of the formal dedication on September 30, 1935; a crew of 500 men remained to finish it and other structures. [11], In 1922, the Reclamation Service presented a report calling for the development of a dam on the Colorado River for flood control and electric power generation. [111] The spillways were modified in 1947 by adding flip buckets, which both slow the water and decrease the spillway's effective capacity, in an attempt to eliminate conditions thought to have contributed to the 1941 damage. The 1927 Mississippi flood made Midwestern and Southern congressmen and senators more sympathetic toward the dam project. Known as McKeeversville, the camp was home to … Instead, Wilbur announced in early 1930 that a model city was to be built in the desert near the dam site. Movable sections of steel forms were used for the sidewalls. An enormous concrete arched structure, measuring over 725 feet high and 1,244 feet long, the dam cost 49 million dollars to complete and was responsible for over 100 … [34] When construction began, Six Companies hired large numbers of workers, with more than 3,000 on the payroll by 1932[35] and with employment peaking at 5,251 in July 1934. Hoover Dam, one of the tallest dams in the United States and a National Historic Landmark that draws tourists from across the globe, is a key reservoir providing flood control, water storage and irrigation along the lower Colorado River.It also is one of the nation’s largest hydroelectric facilities, … [3] In 2015, the dam generated 3.6 TWh. Verified Purchase. The dam is an arch gravity structure rising 726 feet above bedrock. [3] The jet-flow gates, located in concrete structures 180 feet (55 m) above the river and also at the outlets of the inner diversion tunnels at river level, may be used to divert water around the dam in emergency or flood conditions, but have never done so, and in practice are used only to drain water from the penstocks for maintenance. The others are the men who sweat out their days, and many of their nights, in Black Canyon. Six Companies, Inc. was a joint venture of construction companies that was formed to build the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona. Its base is as thick as two football fields … At the height of construction, a bucket arrived every 78 seconds. A government camp was established for surveyors and other personnel near the dam site; this soon became surrounded by a squatters' camp. The first death happened in 1922 during one of several geological survey missions along the Colorado River. On August 13, the company began hiring workers again, and two days later, the strike was called off. [87] True's consulting artist job lasted through 1942; it was extended so he could complete design work for the Parker, Shasta and Grand Coulee dams and power plants. The downstream halves of the tunnels following the inner plugs are now the main bodies of the spillway tunnels. [57] One high scaler was able to save a life in a more direct manner: when a government inspector lost his grip on a safety line and began tumbling down a slope towards almost certain death, a high scaler was able to intercept him and pull him into the air. [48], A second labor action took place in July 1935, as construction on the dam wound down. 127-50 Northern Blvd Flushing, NY 11368 p: 718.446.7000 f: 718.446.6072 [19], Legislation to authorize the dam was introduced repeatedly by two California Republicans, Representative Phil Swing and Senator Hiram Johnson, but representatives from other parts of the country considered the project as hugely expensive and one that would mostly benefit California. Hoover Dam was an audacious and courageous undertaking. This occurred on March 6, 1929, with Utah's ratification; Arizona did not approve it until 1944. Kindle $0.00 $ 0. Both times, when inspecting the tunnels after the spillways were used, engineers found major damage to the concrete linings and underlying rock. In 1922, representatives of seven states met with then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. Comment Report abuse. [67] Hoover Dam concrete is not subject to alkali–silica reaction (ASR), as the Hoover Dam builders happened to use nonreactive aggregate, unlike that at downstream Parker Dam, where ASR has caused measurable deterioration. A total of 112 deaths are attributed to the Hoover Dam’s construction, several of which occurred during pre-construction surveys of the area. Congress renamed the dam after President Herbert Hoover in 1947. [33] Another camp, on the flats along the Colorado River, was officially called Williamsville, but was known to its inhabitants as "Ragtown". Hoover Dam. [112] In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, authorities expressed security concerns and the Hoover Dam Bypass project was expedited. The dam… [60] After the dam was completed and the lake began to fill, large numbers of significant leaks into the dam caused the Bureau of Reclamation to look into the situation. In response to this finding, the tunnels were patched with special heavy-duty concrete and the surface of the concrete was polished mirror-smooth. [29] There were three valid bids, and Six Companies' bid of $48,890,955 was the lowest, within $24,000 of the confidential government estimate of what the dam would cost to build, and five million dollars less than the next-lowest bid. [126], When Secretary of the Interior Ray Wilbur spoke at the ceremony starting the building of the railway between Las Vegas and the dam site on September 17, 1930, he named the dam "Hoover Dam", citing a tradition of naming dams after Presidents, though none had been so honored during their terms of office. On Dec. 26, 1947, New York City woke up to a record-breaking snowstorm that dumped over 22 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. Hoover Dam Historical Collection - A collection of museum items, historic photographs, and news clippings related to Hoover Dam. [70] To mark the occasion, a three-cent stamp was issued by the United States Post Office Department—bearing the name "Boulder Dam", the official name of the dam between 1933 and 1947. The workers were given until 5 p.m. to vacate the premises. [98] Due to the low water levels, by 2014 it was providing power only during periods of peak demand. The Hoover Dam is a historical and engineering wonder of America, so check out 21 rare photos from it's construction in 1936. Work on the foundation excavations was completed in June 1933. The Service investigated Black Canyon and found it ideal; a railway could be laid from the railhead in Las Vegas to the top of the dam site. The dam closed again to the public on September 11, 2001; modified tours were resumed in December and a new "Discovery Tour" was added the following year. Memories of the Great Depression faded, and Hoover to some extent rehabilitated himself through good works during and after World War II. J. G. Tierney was assessing the canyon when he fell into the river … Congress authorized a board of engineers to review plans for the proposed dam. The morning of the dedication, it was moved forward three hours from 2 p.m. Pacific time to 11 a.m.; this was done because Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes had reserved a radio slot for the President for 2 p.m. but officials did not realize until the day of the ceremony that the slot was for 2 p.m. Eastern Time. During peak production, concrete buckets were delivered every 78 seconds.The Hoover Dam’s base required 230 blocks of concrete, each block five feet in height. [71] Roosevelt also referred to the dam as Boulder Dam,[92] and the Republican-leaning Los Angeles Times, which at the time of Ickes' name change had run an editorial cartoon showing Ickes ineffectively chipping away at an enormous sign "HOOVER DAM," reran it showing Roosevelt reinforcing Ickes, but having no greater success. When Ickes spoke at the dedication ceremony on September 30, 1935, he was determined, as he recorded in his diary, "to try to nail down for good and all the name Boulder Dam. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction of the dam in early 1931. Gantry cranes, running on rails through the entire length of each tunnel were used to place the concrete. [109], The large spillway tunnels have only been used twice, for testing in 1941 and because of flooding in 1983. [67], With most work finished on the dam itself (the powerhouse remained uncompleted), a formal dedication ceremony was arranged for September 30, 1935, to coincide with a western tour being made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. [119] The construction of the dam has been implicated in causing the decline of this estuarine ecosystem. Holes were driven into the walls and base of the canyon, as deep as 150 feet (46 m) into the rock, and any cavities encountered were to be filled with grout. [5], Dam in Clark County, Nevada and Mohave County, Arizona, US, "Boulder Dam" redirects here. [99] Water levels were maintained at over 1,075 feet (328 m) in 2018 and 2019. The heavily traveled U.S. Route 93 (US 93) ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened. The construction of the Hoover Dam was the culmination of years of attempts to harness the power of the Colorado River. These buckets, which weighed 20 short tons (18 t) when full, were filled at two massive concrete plants on the Nevada side, and were delivered to the site in special railcars. [131], In the following years, the name "Boulder Dam" failed to fully take hold, with many Americans using both names interchangeably and mapmakers divided as to which name should be printed. [51] The river was diverted into the two Arizona tunnels on November 13, 1932; the Nevada tunnels were kept in reserve for high water. "[73], Excavation for the powerhouse was carried out simultaneously with the excavation for the dam foundation and abutments. To accomplish this, four diversion tunnels were driven through the canyon walls, two on the Nevada side and two on the Arizona side. The Boulder Dam worker of 1953 is a national type of … Construction of Hoover Dam . Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer from the Bureau of Reclamati… This was done by exploding a temporary cofferdam protecting the Arizona tunnels while at the same time dumping rubble into the river until its natural course was blocked. It was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Edison allowed land options it held on the river to lapse—including an option for what became the site of Hoover Dam. [49], Before the dam could be built, the Colorado River needed to be diverted away from the construction site. [110] The 1941 damage was attributed to a slight misalignment of the tunnel invert (or base), which caused cavitation, a phenomenon in fast-flowing liquids in which vapor bubbles collapse with explosive force. [40] The site of Hoover Dam endures extremely hot weather, and the summer of 1931 was especially torrid, with the daytime high averaging 119.9 °F (48.8 °C). [100], Control of water was the primary concern in the building of the dam. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world. 3.9 out of 5 stars 44. The BCPA merely allows the government to "construct, operate, and maintain a dam and incidental works in the main stream of the Colorado River at Black Canyon or Boulder Canyon". On July 7, 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam, originally called the Boulder Dam, began in Black Canyon on the Colorado River on the border of Nevada and Arizona. [62], The first concrete was poured into the dam on June 6, 1933, 18 months ahead of schedule. The Colorado River Board found the project feasible, but warned that should the dam fail, every downstream Colorado River community would be destroyed, and that the river might change course and empty into the Salton Sea. The new arrangement began on October 1, 2017. With the opening of the bypass, through traffic is no longer allowed across Hoover Dam; dam visitors are allowed to use the existing roadway to approach from the Nevada side and cross to parking lots and other facilities on the Arizona side. [12] The river would carry off the smaller pieces of debris, and a dam would be built incorporating the remaining rubble. "[21], On December 21, 1928, President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the dam. [115], Hoover Dam opened for tours in 1937 after its completion, but following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was closed to the public when the United States entered World War II, during which only authorized traffic, in convoys, was permitted. Las Vegas, then a small city of some 5,000, saw between 10,000 and 20,000 unemployed descend on it. Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume (when it is full). [45], On the morning of the 9th, Crowe met with the committee and told them that management refused their demands, was stopping all work, and was laying off the entire work force, except for a few office workers and carpenters. Ickes stated that Wilbur had been imprudent in naming the dam after a sitting president, that Congress had never ratified his choice, and that it had long been referred to as Boulder Dam. Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2016. The Board cautioned: "To avoid such possibilities, the proposed dam should be constructed on conservative if not ultra-conservative lines. Workers alleged that this diagnosis was a cover for death from carbon monoxide poisoning (brought on by the use of gasoline-fueled vehicles in the diversion tunnels), and a classification used by Six Companies to avoid paying compensation claims. Bureau of Reclamation engineers calculated that if the dam were to be built in a single continuous pour, the concrete would take 125 years to cool, and the resulting stresses would cause the dam to crack and crumble. [25], Even before Congress approved the Boulder Canyon Project, the Bureau of Reclamation was considering what kind of dam should be used. [127] One writer complained in response that "the Great Engineer had quickly drained, ditched, and dammed the country."[127]. [61] It took nine years (1938–47) under relative secrecy to complete the supplemental grout curtain. [103][104][105], Electricity from the dam's powerhouse was originally sold pursuant to a fifty-year contract, authorized by Congress in 1934, which ran from 1937 to 1987. Free with Kindle Unlimited membership Learn More Or $2.99 to buy. Known as McKeeversville, the camp was home to men hoping for work on the project, together with their families. Shortly afterward, work began on two similar tunnels in the Arizona canyon wall. An initial attempt at diverting the river for irrigation purposes occurred in the late 1890s, when land speculator William Beatty built the Alamo Canal just north of the Mexican border; the canal dipped into Mexico before running to a desolate area Beatty named the Imperial Valley. Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. [106], The Bureau of Reclamation reports that the energy generated under the contracts ending in 2017 was allocated as follows:[3], Tourists gather around one of the generators in the Nevada wing of the powerhouse to hear its operation explained, September 1940, A worker stands by the 30 ft (9.1 m) diameter Nevada penstock before its junction with another penstock that delivers water to a turbine, The dam is protected against over-topping by two spillways. The dam closed on November 25, 1963, and March 31, 1969, days of mourning in remembrance of Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower. A to… Emboldened by Crowe's reversal of the lunch decree, workers raised their demands to include a $1-per-day raise. [86], With the agreement of Kaufmann and the engineers, True also devised for the pipes and machinery an innovative color-coding which was implemented throughout all BOR projects. [6] The dam is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1922, after considering it for several years, the Reclamation Service finally rejected the proposal, citing doubts about the unproven technique and questions as to whether it would, in fact, save money. [42], The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or "Wobblies"), though much-reduced from their heyday as militant labor organizers in the early years of the century, hoped to unionize the Six Companies workers by capitalizing on their discontent. Fortune Magazine - September 1933 (continued) ARTHUR POWELL DAVIS is the chief unsung hero of Boulder Dam.