Hoover Dam – Boulder Dam
The Colorado River often left the coast during the melting of the snow in the Rocky Mountains and flooded many of the farms in Colorado and Utah. The idea to create an artificial reservoir for irrigation of the arid state of California and generate electricity was born in the US in the early 1920s. It was required to build an unusually powerful dam in the mountains.
The President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, showed keen interest in the dam project. There was no such a unique hydraulic structure in the world.
The US Congress allocated special funds for the construction of the dam. They decided to build it in the Black Canyon, on the border of Arizona and Nevada, 48 km southeast of Las Vegas.
Work began in 1931. There were more than enough people willing to take part in the construction. America had just survived the economic crisis and had not recovered from mass unemployment. However, the living conditions at the construction site were very difficult, and the working conditions were even more difficult. 96 people were killed.
At first, four tunnels were created to drain water. Their total length was about 5 km. Workers suffered from carbon monoxide excess, many became invalids. In total, 8 million tons of stones were removed.
The dam soon reached the design level of 221 m. A hydroelectric power station was built at its base. Work was completed by 1936, two years ahead of schedule. It cost $ 49 million. On October 26 of the same year, 17 generators gave the first current. The total capacity of the generated electricity was 2074 MW.
There is a highway across the dam that connects Arizona and other states with the Canadian border. To the north of the dam there is an artificial Lake Mead; its length is 185 km.
In 1981, the dam was included in the National Register of Historic Places of the United States. The Hoover Dam is one of the most famous sights in the vicinity of Las Vegas.