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Site-Seeing: Hoover Dam

Symee Gilman

Where? Black Canyon, spanning the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada, North America When Was It Built? From March 1931 to March 1936 Why? To control floods, provide irrigation water, and produce hydroelectric power

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

hoover damBuilt by more than 16,000 workers from around the country during the Great Depression, a time when people were desperate for jobs, the Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, as chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Approximately one million visitors come each year to tour the site, which boasts artwork and underground tours.

The dam was assembled in vertical columns locked together by “keys,” like a giant Lego set. Afterwards, grout was forced into the spaces to form a monolithic (one-piece) structure. Four and a half million cubic yards of concrete were used, enough to build a four-foot-wide sidewalk around the Earth! At its base, the dam is 660 feet thick — that’s two football fields measured end to end! The dam is 726.4 feet tall and weighs 6.6 million tons.

 

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