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Hoover Dam in Nevada by Joy Kenzic

The Hoover Dam in Nevada is the main source of electrical power, irrigation, and flood control for the entire Southwestern United States. It is an engineering feat that has become world famous. The dam straddles the border between Arizona and Nevada on the Colorado River and has become a tremendous tourist destination besides serving as a dam. Millions of visitors come to see this dam each year.

The dam was named after President Herbert Hoover, to recognize and honor his unstinted support and zeal in making the project a reality. The 31st President of the United States was however, zealous about the project even before he was President. As Secretary of Commerce, he conceived a plan to tame the Colorado River that would provide people of the states of Arizona, Southern California, Nevada cheap electricity and irrigation. To facilitate this, the Boulder Canyon Project Act was passed in the year 1928.

The construction of Hoover Dam that was the largest dam in the entire world at the time, started in September of 1930 and was completed in a mere five years. The engineers developed a way to quickly cool and harden the concrete in order to expedite the project, which would have otherwise taken at least ten years to complete. The dam only cost $49,000,000 to build and the entire Boulder Canyon Project, which encompasses Hoover Dam, Imperial Dam, and the American Canal cost a total of $165,000,000.

A project of this size does give birth to legends. It is estimated that 16,000 men and women toiled day and night to complete the project. Some casualties did take place, put no one is buried inside the walls of this dam, as popularly believed.

Hoover Damís measurements are mind blowing, especially for the early 1930s. Workers used 4,360,000 cubic yards of pure concrete in its construction, making the dam the first edifice to contain more masonry than Egyptís Great Pyramids. The dam itself now ranks in as the 18th highest dam in the world, standing 726.4 feet tall and measuring 1,244 feet wide at the top of the structure. The dam weighs an estimated 6.6 million tons!

The purpose of Hoover Dam and the entire Boulder Canyon Project was to attempt to take the wild and often destructive Colorado River. The river often breeched its banks and flooded nearby towns, fields, and homes. With the riverís power harnessed, the residents of Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona could be provided with power. The Hoover Dam is capable of producing 2,000 megawatts of electricity by using its 17 generators.

In the process of producing power and irrigation measures for the Southwest, Hoover Dam also created a fantastic body of water, Lake Mead. Lake Mead is a fantastic destination that spreads over a whopping 146,000 acres and attracts flocks of visitors each year. The warm Nevada sunshine on the lake that is situated a few miles from Sin City itself, Las Vegas is an additional attraction.

Those of you interested to visit the Hoover Dam, should first take a behind the scenes tour of the Dam by checking out the visitor's center that is a sea of interactive information about the building and purpose of the dam. For the walk-"a-holics", it is advisable to take your best walking shoes as you would go the very summit of the dam.

Joy Kenzic is the webmaster for F nevada, the best place on the internet for information about nevada. For more articles on nevada why not visit: http://www.fornevada.com/articles
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