The city of Las Vegas draws a lot of energy with all of its lights, and that energy comes from the Hoover Dam. It was named one of the top ten Construction Achievements of the twentieth century. Even today, more than seventy years after it was built, the dam attracts more than one million visitors every year.
The Hoover Dam Construction
The construction of the dam was started in 1930, and was finished in just under five years. This was far ahead of schedule, even though the conditions were harsh and the location was remote. It was named after the president who had settled a twenty five year dispute between states over water allocations, Herbert Hoover. The dam was known by several names, including Boulder Dam, but Congress officially named it the Hoover Dam in 1947. Since then, it has been a National Historic Landmark.
It is currently the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing seven hundred and twenty five feet above the river it dams. Thanks to the size of the river it dams and the fact that is contains seventeen generators, it produces four billion kilowatts of electricity every year. This makes it one of the greatest sources of hydroelectric power in the country. In fact, the amount of energy it produces and sells is so great that it pays for itself.
Hoover Dam Tours
An additional source of revenue for the Hoover Dam are the tours that it offers. There are two different tours that visitors can take of the dam. The first one lasts about two hours and often begins with a video that shows the history of the dam, than proceeds to show the tourists most of the different areas of the dam, including an observation deck and the walk on a pipe that allows visitors to feel the flow of the mighty Colorado river beneath their feet.
The second tour is a more intimate look at the dam. It contains all of the stops of the first tour, but also allows its visitors to walk down inspection tunnels inside the dam itself. A view from the dam offered on the tour is a unique look at Lake Mead, the country’s largest man made reservoir. This man made lake holds up to twenty eight trillion liters of water. This lake alone can bring almost nine million visitors every year. Many tourist book helicopter tours to Grand Canyon from HelicopterTours.info and the route of the trip allows them to enjoy the Hoover Dam from the air.
The Memorial Bridge
A new feature of the dam is the Memorial Bridge. The idea for this bridge was from the 1960s and was thought of to help protect the Colorado River and Lake Mead from hazardous spills and other accidents. It did not actually get built until 2010, but it now offers visitors views of both the dam and the lake that were once only visible by helicopter. There is even a walkway across the bridge that is nine hundred feet above the river and will bring you from Nevada to Arizona while reading interesting facts along the way. With all of its features, the Hoover Dam is definitely one of the great tourist hot spots in the world!