A project of astounding proportions
At the time of its construction, Hoover Dam was mankind’s most massive masonry structure since the Great Pyramids. In all, it took this―and more―to create Hoover Dam:
- 4.4 million cubic yards of concrete
- 88 million pounds of plate steel and outlet pipes
- 6.7 million pounds of pipe and fittings
- 45 million pounds of reinforced steel
The project also stands out for something on a much smaller scale. It’s believed to be the first sizable construction job on which wearing hard hats (or hard-boiled hats, as they were originally called) was mandatory for all.
Global tourist attraction
Today, Hoover Dam is a top tourist attraction—more than a million visitors each year take tours offered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. What they see is one of the wonders of the modern industrial world. What they know is that this gigantic concrete structure is more than just a dam. It’s a symbol of the human spirit, a project that came around when the country needed it most.