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Hoover Dam, 3.25-Million-Yd. Marvel, Turns 75

On September 30, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated what would become a universal concrete icon. The 726-ft. high, gravity-arch Hoover Dam rises from the Black Canyon at the southeast Nevada, northwest Arizona border, forming Lake Mead

Sources: U.S. Department of Interior; American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, Va.; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; (December 2008 photo) Bureau of Reclamation, Alexander Stephens)

On September 30, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated what would become a universal concrete icon. The 726-ft. high, gravity-arch Hoover Dam rises from the Black Canyon at the southeast Nevada, northwest Arizona border, forming Colorado River-fed Lake Mead. It consumed 3.25 million yd. of concrete, placed in columns of approximately 215 blocks Ò varying in size from 60 sq. ft. (upstream face) to 25 sq. ft. (downstream face) Ò plus 400,000-plus cubic feet of grout. A power plant, four diversion tunnels and other structures required more than 1 million additional yards of concrete. Over a two-year construction schedule, crews logged peak mix placement rates of 10,000 yd./day and 275,000 yd./month.

ASCE dubs Hoover Dam one of Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders and will observe the 75th anniversary of the structure's dedication during the 2010 Annual Civil Engineering Conference, October 21-23, in nearby Las Vegas. A Hoover Dam Symposium across the first two days will feature presentations on project history and service life performance from Bureau of Reclamation and Kiewit Infrastructure West representatives, plus academia.