Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hoover Dam

We definitely had to stop and see Hoover Dam on our way through Vegas to California. In fact we really liked Hoover Dam better than we have Vegas. It is impressive site for sure. We elected not take the Dam tour, or should I say the tour of the Dam.
It was $30 each which comes out to $210 for our family. No discounts for the kids either.
Most of the crew would not have been very interested in the tour, and those that were did not feel good about leaving the other parent with all the little kids for so long in the parking lot.

Still it is quite impressive to see the sheer size of this structure, to read about the those who died during the construction process and to analyze the various facts on the size and tonage of the most famous (not the biggest though) dam in America.

It is ...
-- 726.4 feet high
-- 1,244 feet across at the top
-- 660 feet thick at the base
-- 45 feet thick at the topIt ...
-- weighs 6.6 millions ton ...
-- can store up 2 years 'average' flow from the Colorado River ...
-- total storage capacity can be measured in 30,500,000 acre feet ...

-- about 16,000 men and women worked on the project...
-- about 3,500 people were employed at any specific time.
-- Officially ... There were 96 'industrial' fatalities. during the construction of Hoover Dam. This figure does not include deaths by other means including heat, heart problems and curiously, pneumonia.

We also got to see the newly opened bridge over Hoover Dam. Actually we drove Howard across it! It is a pretty site as it towers above the dam connecting Arizona and Nevada. It also has some interesting facts that might amaze you:

• The highest and longest arched concrete bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

• The second-highest bridge of any kind in the United States and 14th in the world.

• The world's tallest concrete columns of their kind.

But what sets the bridge apart most of all is the setting.

It is perched 890 feet above the turquoise Colorado River, wedged between rock cliffs that form Black Canyon, with commanding views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

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