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Hoover Dam: A Place Without Gravity

Hoover Dam

If you ever have a possibility to see one of the U.S. prides – the Hoover Dam in Nevada, you can do one crazy experiment: try to pour some water from a bottle from the top of the dam. Water will shoot up! Do not worry, there is no magic here. It turns out that the construction of the dam creates a very strong wind that blows water upwards. There is an important reason why America is so proud of this place.

Dam with Its History

Hoover Dam is a unique hydraulic structure. In the early 20th century, the economic development of the United States was fast, as a result, a stable supply of electricity and water was needed to ensure further growing. As most of the landscape in the western part of United States includes barren land, the dam and hydroelectric plant seemed a great way to ensure further development in the region.

In 1928, the U.S. Congress confirmed the project of the construction of the Haver Dam. It was decided to build it on the bank of Colorado River, in the Black Valley, on the border between states of Arizona and Nevada. Construction of the dam began in 1931 and was completed in 1935. Even two years earlier than it was planned. This unique facility is named in honor of the 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover, who made a significant contribution to the construction of this dam. There were 5,251 workers working on this gigantic project and working conditions were difficult when construction workers had to survive the heat of 49˚C. The Hoover Dam is now one of the largest concrete dams in America.

Engineering Wonder of That Time

The construction of this object was complicated and very dangerous. 112 workers were killed in five years of construction, which is an average of 2 people per month. The construction of this unique project also required unique tools. For example, large steel formwork that was used to move massive concrete arches.

Engineering Wonder of That Time
Engineering Wonder of That Time

Building concrete structures in the rocks themselves was such a big and completely new challenge at the time. Many tunnels had to be excavated, making the working conditions difficult and dangerous. In these tunnels, 41 out of a total of 112 people died during construction died as those working here suffered from pneumonia or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Until then, no one had done such a thing, so many new engineering solutions emerged. This project required a huge amount of concrete. Workers even laid railway lines around the construction site. At that time, it was the most efficient way to bring the necessary equipment, building materials, blanks, and other important and large objects to the construction site. At the time, men had to rely on so-called concrete buckets. The concrete pouring process was a grueling job. But for many workers, such work was the only source of steady income.

Since most of the project involved rock drilling, engineers developed several innovative drilling procedures. The workers lay on the platform, each with a huge drill bit and slowly drilling the rock. The work was inconceivably hard, making a huge noise, but vital to this project. It was a brilliant idea at the time.

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