Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Hoover Dam

Being a student of Engineering, and also working in the field there are a few projects in our country's history that I find very fascinating. One of these projects was the Hoover Dam. On our recent trip to Vegas to visit our friends Seth and Kirie, we had the chance to go to the Dam. Before I start, I probably need to apologize to Seth, Kirie, and Rachel for all my random Dam facts, and proving what kind of nerd I really am. Now, all you blog followers get to put up with a little more nerdery as I once again share random (useless) information about the Hoover Dam.
The Hoover Dam began being built in 1931, and was completed in 1936. The Dam is built in Black canyon and was originally to be called the Boulder Dam. The name was changed later in construction and surprised many people. 112 people died in the construction of the dam. The first man to die, ended up being the father of the last man to die in construction(Random Fact #1)
The dam itself was poured in sections, like legos. Refrigerated water lines were placed through the concrete helping to cool the dam down. Concrete generates quite a bit of heat, so these lines were necessary with the amount of concrete. If they hadn't ran the water lines, the dam would've taken an estimated 125 years to cure, and probably would have ended up cracking and crumbling(Random Fact #2)
The dam is 660 ft wide at the bottom and narrows as it goes up. The amount of concrete in the dam is astronomical. There is enough concrete in the dam to build a 2 lane highway from San Francisco to New York City.(Random Fact #3)
Because of the terrorist attacks and the potential threats (Thanks alot Bin Laden) a new bridge is in the process of being constructed so that it will not longer be necessary to drive across the dam. This bridge is equally as impressive as you can see from the pictures. Many of you may not know what I do for a living, but I inspect construction projects, and have been able to work on 5 bridges, (None of this magnitude) I cannot wait to one day have my hand in the building or designing of a bridge this impressive. Also, we want to thank Seth and Kirie for letting us stay with them and showing us a great time. We missed them as soon as we left, thanks guys, can't wait to come down again.

Rachel throwing a quarter into Lake Mead off the top of the dam. She wished for a new baby(I'm pretty sure)

This is the new bridge. Look how high it is from the river.

The new bridge from underneath

Looking down the face of the dam

Lake Mead

Water intake towers on the Arizona side

All 4 of us. Thanks again guys, we had a great time