How the Hoover Dam was Built and Enjoying the View from a Kayak
Dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Herbert Hoover, the Hoover Dam is a multi-use concrete gravity-arch dam that lies on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The dam provides power for residents in Nevada, California, and Arizona, and it serves as a recreational area for Hoover Dam kayaking and various other water sports.
Planning for the Dam
In the early 1900s in the midst of the Great Depression, the Edison Electric Company of Los Angeles surveyed the Colorado as a potential source of hydroelectric power to the growing southwest United States. Once the Colorado River was deemed the perfect site for the dam, the government began taking bids to build the towering construction. It was too large of a job for a single company, so six of the top contractors worked together to secure the bid. Construction on the dam began in 1931. Builders from all over the country arrived to assist in the completion.
Construction on the Dam
Before construction could take place on the dam, diversion tunnels were blasted into the canyon walls and cofferdams were built to redirect the Colorado River. After the tunnels were in place, mud and muck along the river bottom were removed to make way for the base of the dam. The first concrete was poured in June of 1933, and nearly two years later, on May 29, 1935, the last block was poured.
The first Hoover dam workers lived in tents with no power or sanitation often enduring temperatures up to 119 degrees Fahrenheit and making less than $6 dollars a day.
Naming the Dam
During the preparation process of building the dam, Secretary of the Interior, Ray Wilbur, named the dam the Hoover Dam. When the United States changed political parties in 1933, the dam’s name was changed to the Boulder Dam. Fourteen years later Congress voted to change the name of the dam back to the Hoover Dam to honor President Hoover.
Today, Lake Mead and the Colorado River offers beautiful views of the dam, which attracts over seven million visitors each year. To get a closer look at the dam, a kayak tour is a must! Blazin’ Paddles offers kayak tours that launch from the base of the dam. Use our website to sign up for a Hoover Dam kayaking tour!