Welcome to the engineering secrets of Hoover Dam. In this video, you are going to assume the role of Hoover Dam design engineer Mr. John Savage and design and construct a gigantic dam in Arizona’s Colorado River.The magnificent Hoover Dam which was constructed 80 years ago, still stands strong and serves the US in the fields of irrigation, flood control, and power production. Even during a torrential rainfall you won’t see Hoover dam overflowing like this causing destruction.
Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Being an arch gravity dam, it needs strong mountain walls to transfer the load. As the cross section of mountains was taken, they found that the rocks on the surface are weathered and quite weak.To have this dam a strong joint with the sidewalls, they excavated the mountain wall in the shape of an arch again using dynamite explosion (Fig.5A). The dam body takes form from these deep holes, making the mountain wall-dam connection really strong.
When tensile stress is applied to concrete, it easily develops cracks. Generally, modern buildings use steel bars to overcome this issue, as steel rods can readily carry a large tensile load. However, Mr. John Savage came up with a much simpler solution, one that does not require steel rods – the arch dam technology.