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Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam


The Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.

Hoover Dam is a testimony to a country's ability to construct monolithic projects in the midst of adverse conditions. Built during the Depression; thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than five years, in a harsh and barren land, to build the largest dam of its time. Now, years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure.

It took 5 years to build the dam, powerplant, and appurtenant structures.
The contractors were allowed seven years from April 20, 1931, but concrete placement in the dam was completed May 29, 1935, and all features were completed by March 1, 1936.
A total of 21,000 men worked on the Dam with an average of 3,500 and a maximum of 5,218 daily, which occurred in June 1934. The average monthly payroll was $500,000.

Location, Tour Center & Parking

In Black Canyon on the Colorado River, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas (Nevada) on US Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border.

Tour Center is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Pacific Time Zone)

The Hoover Dam Tour Center is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Parking and access to the Tour Center is most convenient from the parking garage on the Nevada side of the Dam. Oversized vehicles, recreational vehicles, and vehicles with trailers will need to use the parking lots on the Arizona side of the Dam. From the parking garage walk toward the Dam. A short distance from the parking garage you will find both an escalator and elevator that will take you down to a reception lobby where you can purchase your tickets. All visitors are required to go through security screening when entering the Tour Center.

Hoover Dam Tour

The Tour is the way to see, learn and appreciate what Hoover Dam is all about. This self-paced tour was created to meet the public interest in visiting the dam and provide a quality, informative visit, while recognizing that certain security precautions must be taken to protect the facility, the workers and the visiting public. Talks by our guide staff, are presented at a number of separate locations, within the visitor facilities and various locations on top of the Dam. A ticket is required to explore the Tour Center and Dam exhibits. Be there latestly at 3:00 p.m. to have enough time to see everything.

Admission/Fees (March 2010)

Parking fee: $7.00. (cash only)

Powerplant Tour:
Adults (Ages 17-61) $11.00
Seniors (62+) $9.00
Juniors (Ages 4-16) $9.00
Military and Dependents (Adults & Seniors) $9.00; in Uniform: free
Children (Ages 0-3) Free
Check Hoover Dam Website (see below) for possible changes and discounts/coupons.

Dam Dimensions

  • Height - 726.4.feet (221.3 meters)
  • Length at Crest - 1,244 feet (379.2 meters)
  • Width at Top - 45 feet (13.7 meters)
  • Width at Base - 660 feet (201.2 meters)
  • Weight - 6.6 million tons

The downstream side of the top of dam walkway is a circular arc with a 500 foot radius. Along a straight line, the top of the dam arch would measure about 860 feet. Measured along the curvature, the top of dam crest length is 1244 feet. The upstream face and downstream face have compound curvatures, which means they are curved from canyon wall to canyon wall AND from top to bottom.

Reservoir Statistics

  • Capacity - 28,537,000 acre-feet (35,200,000,000 cubic meters)
  • Length - 110 miles (177 kilometers)
  • Shoreline - 550 miles (885 kilometers)
  • Max Depth - 500 feet (152 meters)
  • Surface Area - 157,000 acres (63,900 hectares)

Quantities of Materials Used in Project

  • Concrete - 4.440,000 cubic yards
  • Explosives - 6,500,000 pounds
  • Plate Steel and Outlet Pipes - 88,000,000 pounds
  • Pipe and Fittings - 6,700,00 pounds (840 miles)
  • Reinforcement Steel - 45,000,000 pounds




Document Information
Source: Bureau of Reclamation / U.S. Dep. of the Interior
Last modified: 20100312
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