The Hoover Dam, built over sixty years ago, still stands today as one of the most outstanding achievements in civil engineering. “Construction on the Hoover Dam began September 30, 1930. The last concrete was poured in 1935 (Facts)”. The Hoover Dam, often called the “Boulder Dam” because the initial location was at Boulder Canyon about ten miles north up river from where it is located now at Black Canyon. The name “Boulder Dam” came from President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge signed an act authorizing the boulder Canyon Project. It was named this because the study originally was at the Boulder Canyon on the Colorado River. July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the first appropriation bill for the dam. During dedication ceremonies on September 17, 1930, Secretary Ray L. Wilbur announced that the name of the enormous structure was to be Hoover Dam. However, while Franklin Roosevelt elected for President soon after, continued to use the name Boulder Dam. It wasn’t until 1947 that a resolution of Congress made Hoover Dam the official name. The Hoover Dam is located on the Colorado River at the southern tip of Nevada and the Arizona border. The Hoover Dam had successfully tamed the wild Colorado River by spanning from the Nevada wall to the Arizona wall. “Surveyors investigated seventy sites along the entire river's course and settled on Nevada's Boulder and Black Canyons, both offering a potential reservoir of more than thirty million acre-feet (Construction).
The Hoover Dam is as tall as a sixty story building and its base is as thick as two football fields long. This was the tallest dam built at its time when completed in 1935. The dam had to be big, because it needed to hold back the biggest, and still is, man-made lake in the United States. This project presented unprecedented challenges stretching the abilities of its workers to the limits, which claimed the lives of ninety-six of the twenty-one thousand men who worked on it. The Hoover Dam did, and still does protect Southern California and Arizona from the disastrous floods that the Colorado River was known for. Even in the depths of the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam came to symbolize what the American industry and its workers were capable of. Even to this date, millions of people still come to visit the dam each year. During the Great Depression, many families arrived in hope of work and lived next to the river in jerry-rigged homes. “A total of 16,000 people were employed during construction of the dam” (Bright Hub Engineering).
Housing and feeding the workers was an enormous task all on its own. The Government designed and built the still thriving Boulder City, which was located six miles from the dam site. There was a state of the art hospital which provided medical needs to the many injured while working on the dam. In the town, there was a fully stocked department store, a recreation hall, a laundry facility, and a post office. ...