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How Cofferdams Helped Build the Hoover Dam

CofferdamsHow Cofferdams Helped Build the Hoover Dam

Located on the cusp of Clark County in Nevada and Mohave County in Arizona in the United States, is an architectural wonder known as Hoover Dam. The name was originally Boulder Dam, but was interchangeable, depending upon the political standings of the speaker, but was confirmed by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The purpose of this marvel is to provide flood control, water storage and regulation, power, and it also serves as recreational landmark. Countless numbers of tourist traverse across the United States every year just to stand witness to its beauty and strength.

The construction of the site began in 1931 and complete d by 1936. It measures over 726 feet high and 1,244 feet in length, 660 feet wide at the base, and holds a whopping 28.9 million acre-feet (approximately 325,000 gallons per acre feet) of water.

Cofferdams were an integral part of the construction of the Hoover Dam, though they were earth and rock-filled cofferdams, unlike our water-filled temporary dams. The dams were used to keep the zone dry and free of silt and other debris in order to protect against potential river flooding while workers were present. In using these barriers, the lives of thousands were ensured as safe from the onslaught of rushing water or potential seepage of water. Though there were over 112 deaths during the construction, none of them could be contributed to the fault of their on-site cofferdams.

It took some “small” cofferdams to assist in the building of the mammoth Hoover Dam, but look at the gigantic levels we can reach when incorporating the use of the right tools for the job!

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