i (i) wrote,

hoover dam

on the way back from vegas yesterday, i stopped here and took the tour.

the dam from the nevada side

one of the massive spillways

these spillways have only overflowed once, in 1983 after an el nino season. there was massive flooding that year downstream in arizona and california. it hasn't happened again because when conditions indicate a heavy rainy season or snowmelt, the dam pre=emptively increases the release of water to lower the level of the lake.

the intake towers. they are about 500' tall, but less than 100' above water.

transmission towers had to be built at odd angles jutting out from the cliffs to run lines from the bottom of the dam where the generators are. having built this kind of tower, i find this extremely impressive.

entering the bowels of the dam

each of these turbines can power 100,000 homes. there is no longer enough water to run them all.

the marble floor, with inlaid designs, cost $15000 in 1935. it is 3" thick. today it would only be 1/2" and would cost 15 million.

the bottom half of the turbines. we had to wear earplugs in this room.

this was the first of the turbines to be installed, and is the oldest of its type in the world. on a side note, hoover dam was a government project that finished two years ahead of schedule, came in 14 million under budget, and paid for itself in 50 years. (as of 1987) go figure :)

this is just a work desk in one of the rooms we passed through.

there is enough concrete in this dam to build a road from NYC to LA, two lanes wide with a six foot sidewalk.

one of the generators on the nevada side

the dam from the arizona side

during world war two, the army built this pillbox and manned it 24/7 with a machine gun crew.


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