How much did it cost to build the Hoover Dam?

How much did it cost to build the Hoover Dam?

At the time of its construction between 1931 and 1935, the Hoover Dam was the most costly engineering project in US history, costing $49 million. According to Jody Thompson and Jessica Rewison's book "Architectural Wonders: The World's Greatest Buildings," it would cost over $700 million to build in 2010. The authors note that this is probably an understatement, as no one knows how many times more expensive it was than expected.

The dam itself was not the most expensive part of the project. Rather, it was the necessity to transport all the rock from as far away as possible to fill the reservoir behind the dam. The Humboldt River near where it enters Nevada is the only place in America where gold can be found in streams. When miners went looking for it, they found more gold than they could use. So, all that dirt on display back in Las Vegas came from just a few miles up the road in Nevada.

The Hoover Dam itself was designed by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Reclamation and built by the W.P.A. It took ten years to complete. At the time of its completion, it was the largest earthen structure in the world. It generates about seven hundred thousand horsepower and provides water for agriculture, industry, and power generation in the Southwest United States.

Who owns the Hoover Dam?

The government of the United States

Hoover Dam
Construction cost$49 million (1931 budget) ($675 million in 2019 dollars)
Owner(s)United States government
Operator(s)U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Dam and spillways

Is the Hoover Dam an infrastructure piece?

The Hoover Dam is one of America's crowning achievements in infrastructure. It was one of the most ambitious undertakings of the early twentieth century, needing millions of cubic feet of concrete and tens of millions of pounds of steel to construct a dam capable of supplying power to 1.3 million people. The dam's power plants will generate approximately 20% of the electricity used by Nevada in 2015.

It has been called "the world's largest construction project" and "a masterpiece of engineering". Today it is a national monument managed by the National Park Service.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Micaiah Bartley. This image is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 license. Image from Wikipedia.

Infrastructure refers to the physical components of society that provide support for the functions of government and private industry. These functions include transportation, communication, water supply, energy production, and storage. Infrastructure also includes the legal and regulatory frameworks within which these activities take place.

In today's world, infrastructure development is part of any large-scale project, whether it be building a new highway or developing computer technology. Even small communities need roads and schools; therefore, these elements are considered essential for human survival.

The term "infrastructure" comes from the Latin infra, meaning beneath, and structura, meaning structure.

How much did Hoover Dam cost?

The Hoover Dam was completed in five years, two years ahead of schedule, for $49 million, which is now worth less than $750 million. It is the most expensive single construction project in American history.

The dam's primary purpose is flood control, but it also provides power and water storage. It stands 327 feet tall and spans 1,079 feet across the Colorado River. The main body of the dam rests on rock that has been eroded over time from mountains farther back in time.

Construction workers used 80,000 tons of steel and 500,000 cubic yards of concrete to build the dam. The dam's power plant uses the same amount of concrete to produce enough electricity for about 70,000 homes. The lake behind the dam provides water for irrigation and recreation in the surrounding areas.

Hoover Dam was important because it provided water for agriculture in arid regions and for industry in more populated areas. At the time it was built, this type of infrastructure was needed because much of the United States was still developing land. Since then, other methods have been invented or improved upon that do the same thing as Hoover Dam (i.e., supply water for agriculture and industry).

Who owns the Hoover Dam and the electricity it produces?

The dam's generators supply electricity to public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

Hoover Dam
Construction cost$49 million (1931 budget) ($675 million in 2019 dollars)
Owner(s)United States government
Operator(s)U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Dam and spillways

What is the Hoover Dam made of?

A project of epic dimensions Hoover Dam was the most gigantic masonry edifice built by humans since the Great Pyramids at the time of its completion. In total, 4.4 million cubic yards of concrete were used to construct Hoover Dam. Plate steel and outlet pipes weighing 88 million pounds. The dam's main body is of rock from Colorado's Rocky Mountain range that has been processed and shaped like a piece of jello. The rocks inside the dam are highly compressed due gas bubbles that formed when water was trapped under pressure behind the dam. This gas can be heard through night-time noises called "Hoover Dam Sirens". These sirens were originally installed as an alarm system should someone be intruding into the dam site after hours.

Today, the main body of Hoover Dam consists of seven layers of rock laid out in a giant cake about 30 feet thick. The top layer is made of light gray Colorado sandstone while the bottom layer is black shale. Between each layer of rock is a layer of cement. The whole structure is held together with high-strength bolts and washers. The dam itself does not flood any land; instead it creates more than 700 acres of lake for recreational use by people who live in the area.

The name "Hoover Dam" comes from its chief architect, William E. Hutcheson Hoover.

About Article Author

George Welchel

George Welchel is a carpenter and construction worker. He loves to build things with his own two hands and make them last. George has been working in construction for over 10 years now, and he always looks for ways to improve his skillset. One thing he's learned over the years is that while technology is great, it's always nice to have someone to talk to who knows more than you do about building things with their own hands.

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