5 pages/≈1375 words
The Hoover Dam Project (Essay Sample)
Task cHOOSE AN HISTORIC PROJECT THAT WAS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY. BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES. sAMPLE tHE SAMPLE IS ABOUT HOW MANAGEMENT WAS APPLIED IN THE HOOVER DAM CONSTRUCTION WHILE DEALING WITH EMPLOYEES' DEATHS, STRIKES, HEAT-STROKE AND POVERTY. MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES WERE ALSO USED IN HANDLING DANGEROUS CONSTRUCTION SITES AND ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. source..
The Hoover Dam Project Student’s Name: Institution’s Name: The Hoover Dam Project Hoover Dam is without doubt the best illustration of American engineering, an icon that helped Americans endure and overcome some of the worst environmental disasters such as ravaging floods, salinity buildup and blistering drought (Ariago & Green 2015, pg 1). They further state that the dam was proclaimed as a world wonder and a savior of a large part of the American West (see map of the area in Appendix 1). Hoover Dam was created during the Great Depression when America was facing adverse poverty, drought, constant floods and an economic bust. The dam is attributed to both national and regional developments of America in the 20th century including speedy growth of cities, agricultural growth in the South West, improvement of private-public partnerships and progress in civil and hydro-engineering among others. Colorado River was diverted into the Colorado Desert for drinking, irrigation, flood control and production of cheap hydropower to cities such as Las Vegas, Utah, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Hoover Dam has a fair share of complicated history and issues that almost crippled the project. The first challenge the project faced was its naming which went back and forth from being called Hoover Dam to Boulder Dam and later after Congressional resolutions in 1947, it maintained the name after President Herbert Hoover (Kwak et al., 2014 pg 262). Different states rivaled against each other in a bid to control the power supply from the dam. The project faced various workers’ strikes, unhealthy working environment and death of some workers. This essay will briefly discuss the achievements of the Hoover Dam project during its construction to earn the name a ‘marvel’ of history and also the challenges it faced. There are brief personal suggestions to improve the topic in discussion and a brief conclusion at the end of the essay. An elaborate map of the southwest and structure of the dam are shown in the appendices page. Achievements of the Hoover Dam Project Ariago & Green 2015 observed that the Hoover Dam project began construction in 1931 in the Black Canyon and was completed in 1935, two years ahead of its originally stipulated deadline (pg 2). A group of six construction companies merged their resources and that of the federal government to construct the 726 ft. tall and 660 ft thick dam (see appendix 2 for the image of Hoover Dam). Workers from all over America merged in Las Vegas desert during the Great Depression in an effort to secure work and improve their living standards. Frank Crowe, the dam’s construction superintendent devised a simple plan to construct Boulder City that would house approximately 3,500 to 5,000 employees and their families (Ariago & Green 2015, pg 2). The city had a rail yard, a makeshift camp named McKeeverville and the government’s survey camp. The first difficult step towards construction of the dam was blasting the Black Canyon’s walls to make four elaborate water diversion tunnels. Rocks from these ingenious tunnels were used to create a temporary small dam that aided in the rechanneling of the river’s path. The second procedure involved knocking off walls from as a high as 800 ft. above the Black Canyon floor. Construction began on the riverbed that had been drained and was completely dry. Hoover Dam was carefully constructed block by block to a height of 726 ft. in 1935. Hoover Dam provided an elaborate and constant supply of water for irrigation and drinking to California, Nevada, Los Angeles, Arizona, Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas among other cities, which helped in the development of metropolitan cities that have continued to provide substantial revenue to the overall budget of the nation (Ariago & Green 2015, pg 20). According to Kwak et al. 2014, the energy that is generated from the dam was divided equitably among fierce competitive states in the following proportions: metropolitan Water District garnered 36%, Los Angeles 13%, Arizona and Nevada each had 18%, and finally Southern California Edison Company 9% of the total energy produced (pg 257). Hoover Dam managed to develop a system that would put little pressure on the Colorado River to prevent devastation caused by demoralizing and destructive floods. Prior to the dam’s construction, rampant and unpredictable flows of Colorado River made it impossible to sustain a prosperous community that lived it its borders. The project created a sustainable hydroelectric power to various states surrounding the dam. Annually, approximately 4 billion kilowatt-hours of power is produced by Hoover Dam. During World War II, the energy produced by the dam played an important role in manufacturing war equipment and airplanes. Energy from the dam enabled the development of various industries in the southwest (Ariago & Green 2015, pg 3). Boulder City was created solely for the purpose of enhancing the construction of the Hoover Dam. After the completion of the project, the city was handed over to the Bureau of Reclamation, which was formed to improve the desert and make it more habitable (see a map of the area in Appendix 1). The project is a testament to man’s triumph over nature in the sense that, the workers and their construction engineers managed to use expertise and technology to divert and redirect river flow and also create a new lake called Lake Mead. Challenges Faced during the Construction of the Hoover Dam Project Ariago and Green 2015 observed that although countless scholars, politicians and journalists have hailed the Hoover Dam (see appendix 2 for the image of Hoover Dam) as the greatest dam in the whole world, President Franklin Roosevelt cautioned that, “Beautiful and great as this structure is, it must also be considered in its relationship to the agricultural and industrial development and in its contribution to the health and comfort of the people of America who live in the southwest” (pg 2). One of the major setbacks of the Hoover Dam project was the abrupt change in the ecosystem that greatly affected wildlife around the Colorado River and species in the water. According to Kwak et al. 2014, environmentalists have carried out extensive research on the decline of water species in Colorado River and the 7 basin states (pg 256). During the construction of the dam, workers were faced with a heat wave calamity and toxic gases from the tunnels that contributed to deaths. Some women and children who lived with their husbands in Boulder City during the construction of the dam died because of the desert temperatures that exceeded 130 degrees, poor food nutrition, diseases and polluted water that was being diverted from Colorado River (Kwak et al 2014, pg 260). Some workers also fell from high grounds while trying to tear the walls of the Black Canyon leading to casualties and deaths. These deaths and casualties occurred due to inadequate safety precautions by the construction companies tasked with construction the dam. According to Kwak et al 2014, the Boulder community became adapted to learned helplessness, in the sense that they lived in shacks and tents for three yea...
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