A tale that often circulates is that human remains are still entombed within the dam's concrete walls; however, this is an untrue fable.
Boulder City was actually constructed so that the 4,000 workers who were constructing the dam would have a place to live and spend time with their families while they worked on the giant project (Ford, 1999).
It is the only city in Nevada that does not allow gambling and that is because the purpose of the city was to provide a place for families to live whose parents were working on the dam and the families came from around the nation on a temporary basis (Ford, 1999).
During the construction of the dam many of the 96 workers that perished did so by accidentally falling from the more than 700-foot drops (Rodeghier, 2006).
The first, a surveyor, died on Dec. 22, 1922. The last was his son, who died on Dec. 22, 1935, 13 years to the day after his father's death (Rodeghier, 2006)."
At the time the dam was built workers were paid a mere 50 cents an hour, however, that was more than double the national average for wages at the time. Workers were asked to work seven days a week regardless of the weather. There were times the heat index was above 150 degrees but workers kept pushing forward (Rodeghier, 2006).
Around Lake Mead there appears to be a bathtub ring, but it is actually calcium carbonate deposits which show how much the lake has fallen in recent years.
Enough of the lake evaporates every year to cover the state of Pennsylvania a foot deep. Still, Lake Mead is America's largest manmade reservoir, covering 290 square miles at a depth of up to 500 feet (Rodeghier, 2006)."
Lake Mead currently holds an approximate two-year supply of water for surrounding areas and in the past has served a valuable purpose for agriculture.
Security has been a concern since the dam was built. For example, during World War II, soldiers were stationed in barracks here. Today, those entering the dam's visitor center must pass through airport-style sensors. Vehicles must stop at security checkpoints on U.S. Route 93, which crosses over the dam. Traffic often backs up, causing frustrated motorists to spell "dam" another way. After a bypass road opens in 2008, the road over the dam will be restricted to foot traffic (Rodeghier, 2006). "
Enough concrete fills the dam to provide a highway three inches think and 18 feet wide from San Francisco to New York City.
The dam actually "floats" in cut away edges in the canyon wall and total cost for the dam was approximately $165 million (Rodeghier, 2006).
It took at total of four years and ten months to complete the project using six construction companies full time.
Since its completion, the dam has been called one of the engineering wonders of the world because at the time it was constructed it used state of the art technology for its planning and construction.
Since its construction 70 years ago, Hoover Dam has been recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in dam design. As the type study states, "Hoover Dam is a [magnet] for millions of visitors in large part because the designers and builders of the Dam expressed an art for engineering that went beyond the austere and functional (Davis, 2003)."
The Hoover Dam provided the nation with one of the most advanced engineering projects in history and it came at a time when the nation was struggling with many other elements of life. It allowed Americans to point at it with pride and know it was going to provide valuable services for many years to come. Whether families are boating on the lake, using power generated from the dam or simply taking visiting relatives to view its awesome construction and size, Hoover Dam continues to be respected as one of the great architectural designs in America's history.
Davis, Norah (2003) Living up to a landmark: building a bridge that will overlook Hoover Dam -- and enhance it -- is a once-in-a-lifetime engineering challenge. Public Roads
Edwards, John (2004) Hoover Dam output down about 15%. Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV)…