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Hoover Dam Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Hoover Dam

     The Hoover Dam is one of America¡¦s greatest civil engineering marvels (Hernan 22) and ¡§has become a magnet to those fascinated by human ingenuity at its best¡¨ (Haussler 30). With its enormous size and construction during the Great Depression, it was an interesting topic to me. I would like to major in civil engineering and, at first, I was researching this topic. I was looking for salary and job descriptions. Then, I discovered the name John L. Savage, the engineer who supervised the design of the Hoover Dam and many other dams in the United States. Savage worked on the Minidoka irrigation project in Idaho after joining the United States Reclamation Service in 1903. His future of building dams first began "When I first went out to the Snake River Valley,¡¨ he said, ¡§I saw only a river and a lot of wasteland. After the dam was up the land changed. It got water. Farmers moved in to work the soil. Crops grew. Then came villages and towns. That's why I think this is the happiest, most thrilling work in the world¡¨ (qtd. in McCann). The characteristics he describes are evident to me, as well as other people in this field. All of the great buildings and projects of the World were overseen by civil engineers. These water resources projects, such as the Hoover Dam, not only disturbed the flow of rivers but created towns, industries, and even developed a desert region. Unfortunately, the dams can also cause adverse effects.

     The Colorado River may have been ¡§too thick to drink [and] too wet to plow¡¨ (Boris 4) but, it was not too strong to dam. The Boulder Canyon Project was first conceived in 1928 (Wassner 98) and was approved for flood control, storage of the Colorado River water, and the production of hydroelectric power (Hoover Dam - FAQs). John R. Hall explains that the Hoover dam was built ¡§to harness the awesome power of the Colorado River¡¨ (22). The Department of Reclamation had a huge task on their hands when supervising the construction of the Hoover Dam (Hall 22), previously known as Boulder Dam and changed to Hoover Dam for President Herbert Hoovers strong support of a Dam on the Colorado River (Wassner 97). First, before even breaking ground, there had to be away to easily access the dam site and house the six-thousand workers who will build the great dam. Boulder City was created to house the Government and contractor employees, a twenty-two foot wide highway was built to connect with the dam site seven miles away, and Union Pacific railroad built a railway stretching almost thirty-three miles from Las Vegas to Boulder City, and then to the dam site. The construction would also need electricity so two-hundred and twenty-two miles of a power transmission line was constructed from San Bernardino, California to the dam site. Now that there was a system of transportation and living, the dam site needed to be prepared and have materials brought in (Hoover Dam - FAQs).

     First, a dam can¡¦t be built with...

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