The Hoover Dam may have been opened in 1936 but it still stands today as one of the greatest engineering achievements of all-time. There are a number of mind-blowing facts behind the construction of a dam.
An Immense Amount Of Concrete
The concrete used in the construction of the Hoover Dam was on an immense scale. 4.36 million cubic yards of concrete was required. Most of the material was for the construction of the dam but the power plant and related facilities took their share as well.
That amount of concrete would be able to build a road from one side of the US to the other— about 3,000 miles to be laid down as a major interstate. It shows you the sheer scale of the material used, which was the equivalent of five million barrels.
With all that concrete you could only imagine how many fittings, epoxy anchors, and fasteners were needed. It required great epoxy companies that were able to provide the equivalent likes of AC 100 epoxy and HY200 epoxy anchors to complete the construction.
As with epoxy, concrete has a curing period and using that amount of material can cause issues. Without intervention, it would have taken years for the concrete that was used in the dam to naturally cool. Since that wasn’t possible in such a case, extra measures had to be taken.
To solve the problem, engineers built huge refrigeration machines that were used to dispense ice and speed up the cooling process. This rapid cooling helped to prevent cracking that might occur with temperature fluctuations and enabled construction time to be reduced.
With no town nearby to host the many people responsible for building the dam, a whole city was built to accommodate the 5,000 workers. Boulder City still stands and thrives today, with a population of around 16,000.
The Hoover Dam itself was called the Boulder Dam for a relatively brief period. Although it was named for President Herbert Hoover in 1930, the name was changed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of State Harold Ickes in 1933. A resolution in congress 14 years later would reverse that change and the dam has since maintained its original moniker.
A Huge Success
Given that it’s still operating perfectly today, the dam has been considered a huge success. The task was too big for any one company to complete. In total, six construction companies came together to get the work done. The structure has helped to inspire many more engineering projects around the world.
The dam is able to supply energy across three states and to 1.3 million people. When full, the reservoir behind it remains the largest in the USA. It still looks magnificent and thanks to a huge combination of skill and materials, it is as effective as ever.