Saturday, July 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Hoover Dam, and...

How many of you have ever heard of "The Hoover Dam Bypass Project?" I had never heard of it before, and only ran across the story while reading the AP headlines and this day in history, July 7, 2007.

According to the AP, work began on Boulder Dam on July 7th, 1930. That makes the dam 77 years old by my calculations, at least the initial phases of it.

It seemed like something worthy of note so I thought I'd put a post up about it, and I went in search of a photograph of the Dam to accompany the post. The photo you see posted is one among several on the Hoover Dam Bypass site that was brought up when I entered the words "Hoover Dam." Initially I had planned to put up a photo of the dam and to say a few things about the significance of the date in relation to the construction of the dam itself, and perhaps a few thoughts about our visit to the site in 2002. But my plans for the post were quickly altered by the revelation I was about to receive.

If you'll look closely at the photo I've chosen to put up, you'll note several odd, seemingly out of place, shadow-casting protrusions on the Nevada side of the canyon that certainly weren't there in '02 when my family and I visited the Hoover Dam. Those protrusions are piers in various stages of completion set in place to support the nearly two thousand foot long bridge that will eventually span the Black Canyon overhanging the mighty Colorado River approximately 1600 ft. south of the dam itself.

Work on the Nevada side of the project is said to be 70% complete, while work on the Arizona side is 100% completed. The project website projects that the entire Bypass project will be completed no later than 2010, and judging by the photographic record it looks like they're well on schedule.

People visiting the dam after 2010 will certainly be treated to a new view from either the Nevada or the Arizona side. And of course crossing the bridge itself will offer a view of the dam that few have ever experienced before other than in photos. Also as part of the project are several other bridges on both the Arizona and the Nevada sides, as well as sections of connecting highway of course, and etc...

You can check it all out for yourself at the project website.

And be sure to tour the photo gallery. Included in the gallery are photos of the various stages of the work as they have been conducted over the last several years, as well as renderings of what the final project will look like once the work is completed.


Terry Morris said...

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