Hoover Dam in Las Vegas

Hoover Dam in Las Vegas

Hoover Dam in Las Vegas
Hoover Dam in Las Vegas

Not far from the famous American city of Las Vegas there is an interesting landmark - one of the largest dams in the world - the Hoover Dam. To be more precise, it is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. This unique object owes its name to Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of America. It was largely thanks to this man that the Hoover Dam was built.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Americans decided to curb the unruly Colorado River, since it often caused great inconvenience to local residents. When the snow melted in the mountains, the river flooded the surrounding lands downstream. The construction of the reservoir was supposed to solve this problem. In addition, the dam could uninterruptedly supply water to Los Angeles and other areas of California. However, the designers and everyone involved in the creation of the future Hoover Dam faced one problem. It was necessary to resolve the issue of water distribution between states in order to avoid litigation with all dissatisfied consumers. The fact is that at that time there were a huge number of lawsuits in American courts related to the use of water resources. To ensure that everyone was satisfied after the completion of the dam, a special commission was created. Its members signed an agreement that clearly stated how the life-giving moisture would be spent.

Construction of the Hoover Dam

Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931. Herbert Hoover had already become the president of the country at that time and allocated budget money for this grandiose construction. The dam was built at a difficult time for Americans—the country was experiencing the Great Depression. Thousands of people, desperate to find any kind of work, flocked to the dam construction site. The working conditions for these workers were extremely difficult. Many construction workers have died or become disabled due to carbon monoxide poisoning. A total of 96 people died here. The first to die was topographer J. Tierney, who drowned in the river. The last person to die at the construction of the Hoover Dam was his son Patrick. He crashed after falling from one of the spillway towers.

Especially for the workers, it was decided to establish a small city, Boulder City, near the future dam. However, they did not manage to build housing on time, and at first people had to live in a hastily built camp. Conditions there were so harsh that in the summer of 1931 workers went on strike. However, their rally was brutally suppressed. The builders moved into more or less normal houses only after six months. In total, more than five thousand people built the Hoover Dam. Interestingly, gambling, prostitution and alcoholic beverages were prohibited in Boulder City. By the way, there are no gambling establishments here these days.

Innovations Ideas

Many innovations were used during the construction of the dam. For example, here for the first time in history, workers used helmets that protected their heads.

In addition, engineers have developed a unique concrete cooling system. The fact is that the Hoover Dam could not be built as a monolithic structure, since then the concrete would take as long as 125 years to cool. It was decided to build a dam from columns in the form of trapezoids to reduce the cooling time of the concrete. For an even greater effect, special metal pipes were made into which cooled water from the river flowed. By the way, in total, 3.33 million cubic meters of concrete and about 729 million USD in modern terms were spent on the construction of the dam.

This dam is considered the largest man-made structure built since the Egyptian pyramids.

Already in 1935, ahead of schedule, the Hoover Dam was inaugurated. Of course, many of the works were not yet completed, and they were fully completed only a year later. Already in 1937, the dam became a popular tourist attraction. Today, 9 million tourists come to see this attraction every year. The main task was completed - the Colorado stopped flooding the lands downstream. However, many species of animals and plants are on the verge of extinction due to such global human interventions. Lake Mead, created by the dam, became the largest reservoir in the United States.

Works of Art

The image of the Hoover Dam has been used in many works of art. For example, the dam is mentioned in the book “One-Story America” by Ilf and Petrov, in the films “Transformers” and “Universal Soldier” and in the cartoon “Beavis and Butt-Head Make America.”

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