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Great American Infrastructure: The Hoover Dam

Posted by Infra on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

This is the first in a series of entries celebrating infrastructure achievements in the United States.


What: The Hoover Dam is a concrete, hydroelectric, arch-gravity dam.

Where: The Hoover Dam sits on the Colorado River, in the Black Canyon, which divides Arizona and Nevada.

When: Construction of the dam began in 1931. Most work was completed in by 1935. Control was given to the Federal Government in 1936. Electricity was first generated in 1936.

Cost: $49,000,000 USD


  • Height: 725 Feet
  • Length: 1,244 Feet
  • Weight: 6,600,000 tons
  • Base Width: 660 Feet
  • Annual Power Generation: 4.2 Billion KWh

Interesting Facts: Considered the first death associated with the construction of the Hoover Dam, J.G. Tierney was a land surveyor that drowned in 1922 while searching for an ideal spot for the Dam. The last man to die in association with the Hoover Dam Project was his son, Patrick W. Tierney; he died 13 years later to the day.

There is enough concrete poured into the Hoover Dam to pave a two lane highway that would stretch from San Francisco to New York.

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