A Modern Marvel: The Hoover Dam Essay

A Modern Marvel: The Hoover Dam Essay

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The Hoover Dam is a modern marvel and a testament to American ingenuity. At over six million six hundred thousand tons and jetting seven hundred sixty feet from the canyon floor, six hundred sixty feet across the bottom and, one thousand two hundred forty four feet across the top, the structure is awe inspiring even to a modern audience. Three quarters of a century since its completion it still stands as a symbol of one of the greatest construction projects of the ages. The need for a dam to block the Colorado River was not a new idea when construction began in 1931, but had been mulled around since the dawn of the century. Flooding due to runoff from the Rocky Mountains had devastated crops, and a need for hydroelectric power increased the need for a dam. In 1922 Black Valley was chosen as the spot for the dam’s construction. No one construction company was large enough to take on the project alone, so a group of companies formed a joint venture in order to bid the job. The Six Companies Inc. made up of Morrison-Knudson, the J.F. Shea Company of Portland, MacDonald & Kahn Ltd, Pacific Bridge Company of Portland, Henry J. Kaiser, Bechtel Company of San Francisco were awarded the winning bid for the dam at forty eight million eight hundred ninety thousand nine hundred fifty five dollars. The construction management team had a Herculean task in building this behemoth and faced many problems in its construction. A few of the major issues posed to the team were diverting the Colorado River, provisioning the men and material to get the job done, and the actual construction of the Hoover Dam. The heights involved with project led to many safety obstacles that had to be overcame.
Diverting the powerful Colorado River had to be ...


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...ementation of diverting the Colorado River, provisioning the men and material to get the job done, and constructing the dam are great examples of how an effective construction management team can get things done no matter the scale or complexity of work. The crude cloth hats soaked in tar worn by some of the workers led the construction management team to equip all of the individuals working on the project with hardhats. This decision led to a sharp decrease in fatalities due to falling objects. When the dam was dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on September 30th, 1935 he quoted Julius Ceaser by stating,” I came, I saw I conquered”, which was very fitting for this great accomplishment of American knowhow and resourcefulness. Many dams have since surpassed the Hoover Dam in size and output, but the Hoover Dam will forever have a place in history.

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