The engineering wonder that is Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam tours have always been the classic Las Vegas daytrip. Whether you drive yourself, take a Hoover Dam bus tour or fly over in a helicopter, the reaction is always the same: "Wow." more...Hoover Dam is, by any account, spectacular. From an architectural standpoint, the curvilinear arch construction is beautiful. But it's the early 20th century art deco design that elevates this engineering marvel to the level of art. Hoover Dam is a hyper-functional piece of sculpture. And the scale is grand.To think that engineers carved out space in Mars-like Black Canyon, backed off the mighty Colorado river, then built the biggest concrete structure known to man ... well, that would be a huge project in any era. But knowing this was built during the Depression leaves you simply astonished.And, oh yeah ... it's all about an hour from the Strip. No wonder this Wonder of the World is such a popular tourist destination.Once known as Boulder Dam, Hoover Dam was built between 1931 and 1936 on the border between Arizona and Nevada. It was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but somewhat controversially named after former president Herbert Hoover.The dam created Lake Mead - the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona and California. About a million people tour the dam each year. Heavily traveled U.S. 93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge was completed. Construction on the nearly 2,000-foot-long bridge began in late January 2005. This signature bridge spans the Black Canyon, connecting Arizona and Nevada nearly 900 feet above the Colorado River. Yet another reason to marvel. And yet another reason to say, "Wow."
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