Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hoover Dam reminds me of...

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Transformers.

Yes, remember that classic scene in the first installation of the movie where the gigantic leaders of both the Autobots and Decepticons; Optimus Prime and Megatron were hot on each other's tracks like they were in a cat-and-mouse chase? (Maybe cat and mouse did not seem to be such an apt description for two gigantic bots, but you get the idea)
They were tumbling after each other; practically, over the high boulders and the upstream, gates, well, pretty much all over the place.

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Those images stuck in my mind for years and when I was heading towards the entrance of this prominently featured dam, believe it or not, that was the first thing that came to my mind.
That was how profound of an effect from that movie, and I believe the producers and filmmakers of the movie would be very pleased to hear that, and extremely proud of themselves.
I was even half expecting Optimus and Megatron to continue their battle; and unleash more destruction around the mighty dam when I was there - such imagination.

Hoover Dam was definitely built to withstand such pressures though; not destruction I mean, but the might and resilience of the structure was definitely eminent, holding the breath and awe of every visitor.

The dam, is more than 70 years old; from its birth between the years of 1931 and 1936 and its construction was massive with the efforts of more than a thousand workers, and claimed more than a hundred lives during the process.
It is devastating to learn of loss of lives involved in the establishment of the famous dam; as with most of the other complex buildings and landmarks in the world. These are the unsung heroes; the ones we did not know who put their lives into presenting a prominent landmark to the world today.

The Dam was dedicated by the ruling President Franklin Roosevelt during his time; on the 30th September 1935 but it was after the former President Herbert Hoover the dam was named after, raising much controversies back then.


Lake Mead, the largest reservoir by volume in the whole of the United States were confined within the territories of the Hoover Dam, making the dam one of the most important water storage areas in the country.


Hoover Dam is not just important for its water storage capability, but was also designed to serve its multiple purposes of storing, retaining, regulating the water, flood control and also the source of hydroelectric power generation  

On top of all that, Hoover Dam ranks as one of the tourist attractions and recreational area; witnessing more than  a million tourists annually.

Controversies surround the name of the dam; where the locals refer to the dam interchangeably between the officially named Hoover Dam and the Boulder Dam, with reference to its location near the Boulder City of Nevada and the neighboring Boulder Canyon.

Wedged between the two canyons; Black Canyon and Boulder Canyon, it is more precise to point that the location of the dam was in the Black Canyon, where the famous Colorado River runs.

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It is interesting to note that this is not just any ordinary dam; which we already know by now (as I conjure images of the giant bots once again), following its remarkably captured photo-worthy location in Hollywood movies and apart from the entertainment aspect, this is also the world's 38th largest hydroelectric generation site.

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Thus with a reputation like that, it is definitely not surprising to learn that the dam is safely guarded and protected by their very own police force; officially known as the Bureau of Reclamation Police, a federal police force and regularly known as Hoover Dam's police.


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Due to the importance of the dam, the federal police were delegated and dedicated to protect the integrity of the dam's purpose and establishment, along maintaining the security within the dam; safeguarding the place from possible crimes and acts of terrorism.
Collaborating with the security guards of the Bureau of Reclamation, the police scrutinize the access to the reclamation facilities and conduct routine checks throughout the restricted areas on the premises to maintain the safety of the site.

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The infamous terrorist attack which took place on the 11th September 2001 led to the expedition of the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass project; which was intended to reroute the U.S Route 93 above the Hoover Dam due to the dangers and risks it imposed based on the location as advised by the officials and also the incapacity of the route to hold the projected traffic volume across the top of the dam where it was situated.



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The arch bridge; the major link or the key to the Hoover Dam Bypass project, is also known,or rather, originally known as the Mike O' Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (named after Mike O'Callaghan, the governor of Nevada and Pat Tillman, a football player from Arizona who went on to serve the United States Army, later perished in a fire).


The list of interesting trivia surrounding the dam are anything but limited, as the vast areas on the premises beckon to the important roles they play to the country.


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If you ever want to be in two places at the same time; this would be it, as Hoover Dam is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, which runs on the border of both the states of Nevada and Arizona.

Voila, as Landon would say to Jamie, "You're in Two Places at Once"

(Quote from A Walk to Remember)


Now, that would be a nicer way to picture Hoover Dam than purely mega battles, wouldn't it? 


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