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Hoover Dam Diversion Tunnel

Diversion Tunnels

Four 56-foot diameter tunnels were used to divert the Colorado river during the construction of the Hoover Dam. These tunnels allowed the river to flow unchecked for the duration of the construction. Once the Dam was completed, it was time to close the tunnels. This was done with huge, 405 foot thick concrete dovetails. The final hole was plugged using a steel gate, weighing more than 1000 tons.

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Hoover Dam Evaporation Tower

Drying Concrete Causes Heat

When concrete is setting and drying it causes a tremendous amount of heat to be generated. If the heat is not dissipated, it greatly increases the drying time of the concrete. For this reason, the Hoover Dam was built in sections rather than in one continuous pour. It was calculated that if they did pour the damn in one go, it would have taken 125 years to cool and set. Even with their pouring strategies, it still required the construction of the largest evaporation plan of the time!

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