Monday, December 17, 2007

Sightseeing in Las Vegas

Hoover Dam is one of the man-made wonders. It is situated 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas at the Nevada-Arizona border off US Highway 93. It is a world-renowned monolithic structure located in the middle of the most adversative environment, which was built during the Depression, when thousands of families came to Black Canyon to domesticate the Colorado River. It took nearly five years to build the dam, which was at the time the largest dam.

Now, Hoover Dam is a National Historic attraction. The American Society of Civil Engineers rated Hoover Dam as one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.

The most remarkable feature of the dam is that it was constructed in sets or vertical columns of different sizes ranging from 60 square feet at the upstream part of the dam to 25 square feet at the bottom. adjoining columns were secured together by a system of vertical keys and horizontal keys. Placement of concrete in each single block was limited to 5 feet in every three days. When concrete cooled off, cement mixed with water (grout) was put into the spaces in between columns creating a monolithic structure.

If you are visiting Las Vegas, make sure to visit Hoover Dam and also stop by Lake Mead which is on the way from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. If you are not driving while in Las Vegas, there are tours available for booking. Make sure you bring bottled water on your trip as it gets extremely hot in the desert.

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