Most people know Hoover Dam from photos. It’s much more than a photo op and is well worth taking time to go there and do their tour to learn just what an amazing piece of work this is which will make you appreciate the beauty even more.
Hoover Dam was built to control the Colorado River waters. Before the dam the land would flood in the spring but dry up in the summer and fall which made it hard to grow crops. They needed a way to protect the low-lying land and protect the water supply year-round. The river was divided into the upper and Lowe basin with half of the estimated water going to each, the further divisions were up to the states involved. There were 7 states included as they were all serviced by the river.
To start work they first had to divert the river so built 4 tunnels for the water while they built the dam. Work started in 1931 and was completed in 1935 which was 2 years ahead of s schedule and under budget. Av average of 3500 people worked every day around the clock for $4/day and had the option of only 2 days off a year although they didn’t have to take those off as work didn’t stop. To speed up the drying process they put a pie in each block and cold water ran through the pipes to help cure the cement. It has fully cured to this day.
Hoover Dam was built to be self-supporting and it remains that way by power sales. The power is split with 56% going to Southern California, 19% to Arizona and 25% to Nevada for the most part. Other uses are the sale of water and the many types of water recreation available.
So as you can see, there’s much more than just a photo op with Hoover Dam and Lake Mead so the next time you’re in Las Vegas take a few hours and check it out.