Hoover Dam - 2006
It is hard to believe that it took only four years
to build the dam ... and ... it came in under budget.
Hoover Dam . . . Intake towers . . .
Visitor Center Area . . .
Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. In 1999, it was named the number five construction achievement of the 20th century. Hoover Dam is a water management project, the power generation is a secondary function.
Lake Mead is the reservoir resulting from the building of Hoover Dam. It is covers 157,900 acres and can store 9.2 trillion gallons of water. The water from the reservoir irrigates more that one million acres of crops in America and nearly half a million acres in Mexico. It meets the domestic water needs of Arizona, Nevada and California. Lake Mead and the dams and water retention lakes of the Lower Colorado have created a superior water recreation base in the region.
The power generating turbines are in the buildings at the base of the dam. The building on the left is in Arizona, the building on the right is in Nevada.
The water from the dam spills into Black Canyon.
The tour of the Nevada turbine room was not as noisy as we had experienced in other turbine rooms. It was a short walk from the elevators. When the light on top of the turbine is 'on', that unit is on-line and generating power - N3 is off-line.
The Hoover Dam area was a little different than we expected. We were surprised how commercial it was. And, we were surprised at the number of people. It was a busy place. We parked on the second level from the top of the parking structure and had lunch in the High Scaler Cafe - good burgers.
We happened to be on the dam when a women opened this brass door. She told us it was the door to the elevator that was used during tours years ago. She held the door open for Fred to photograph the elevator door. Fancy!
A short distance away was the old ticket window.
Typical post 9-11, security was tight at the dam. Although the highway signs are confusing, you can drive your RV across the Dam, after an inspection.
When we drove just the truck in from Henderson, NV to the dam, security officers had us pull over and checked under the tonneau cover on the truck. At the dam, security was heavy.
Looking into the future, a Hoover Dam By-Pass project is scheduled to be completed in 2008. As we approached the dam, we saw the construction project.
A model in the Visitor Center showed the concept.
We enjoyed our time at Hoover Dam. Admission to Hoover Dam is free. You could park on the east side of the dam and walk at no charge. However, entry to the Visitor Center and the tour was $9 per person for seniors. Parking was $7 per vehicle in the parking structure and at a large lot suitable for RVs. We were at the dam for about four hours.
As you visit Hoover Dam, you see power lines everywhere - leading off into the distance carrying electrical power to the region.
While the generation of electricity was not the main reason for building the dam, it provides 4 billion kilowatt-hours a year of power to Nevada, Arizona, and California.
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