Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hoover Dam

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(Chuck) If you happen to be Southeast of Las Vegas, what is 726 feet high, 1,244 feet long, 660 feet at the base and 45 feet at the crest? It holds 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete and annually produces 4.2 Billion kilowatt hours of electricity. The answer is of course is the Hoover Dam. It has been contributing to the success of this country for 75 years.

On this visit we toured the power plant for the first time. By elevator we descended 530 feet to the power plant. Water pressure at the base of the dam is 45,000 psi. This energy powers the 17 main turbines which spin the generators. At this time one of the generators has been removed for maintenance. Notice the size of the generator compared to the car which is parked beside it.

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The latest improvement to the site is known as the Hoover Dam Bypass. This new road and bridge eliminates several very steep sections and switchbacks in the old roadway. The official name is the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge ( Colorado River Bridge ). The bridge is a beautiful compliment to the beauty of the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River . The website for the bridge is: http://www.hooverdambypass.org/ . It is a very comprehensive site and includes many photos of construction which are very interesting.

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We left Las Vegas on Sunday to journey South toward Yuma. On the road we met Boomer friends Larry and Connie Farquhar. We gave a big windshield wave as we passed on the road. We have stopped at Quartzsite for a couple days rest, and will continue to Yuma tomorrow.

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