Scenic USA - Arizona

Hoover Dam

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Hoover Dam Overlook - Arizona-Nevada

Photos by Ben Prepelka and Chris Henn

   Sometimes called Boulder Dam, Hoover Dam remains one of the greatest engineering achievements of the Generator Plant - Hoover Dam, Nevada-Arizona 20th century. Initially planned for a site 10 miles from today’s dam, engineers and geologists re-examined field data after the San Francisquito Dam disaster on March 12, 1928. Built to supply Los Angeles with water, the San Francisquito Canyon Dam burst on its initial filling, killing at least 450 people, destroying 1000 homes, knocking out bridges and power lines, and ranking second among California’s disasters.
   Faced with a series challenges and logistical nightmares, design work began on the Hoover Dam in 1921. One of the most ambitious undertakings in the early 1900s, Six Companies (a joint venture) took on the task of boring four diversion tunnels through solid rock, removing loose face rocks from the Black Canyon cliffs, building a new city for thousands of workers, chilling 3.25 million cubic yards of freshly poured concrete, and keeping the around-the-clock operation on track.
   Located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, this popular site attracts a million visitors every year. Once bearing the traffic of U.S. Route 93, the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge re-routes Winged Figures of the Republic - Hoover Dam, Nevada-Arizona traffic over Black Canyon with another engineering marvel. When it opened in October, 2010, the O'Callaghan-Tillman bypass was the highest and longest arched concrete bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Now without a constant flow of traffic over the top of the dam, the area around the dam was further developed into a safer attraction. A tour of Hoover Dam is not only a breathtaking experience, but also an educational one. Here, visitors will learn more about the history of its construction and may also descend 500 feet into the dam to see the generators in the dam's power plant. Built using over 6 million tons of concrete, the dam rises 726 feet from the river to the top. With enough concrete to pave a road from New York City to San Francisco, the Hoover Dam is one of the Las Vegas area's most memorable attractions.

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