Crossing Hoover dam - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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I am traveling South from Las Vegas to Yuma, and just for sight seeing along the way I was going to visit Hoover dam, a friend told me because of the new bridge project it could take hours to get through. I am an early riser and I should get to the dam by at least 9:00 AM is it congested all the time?
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:48 PM   #2
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You won't be able to tow your trailer across.

National Security after 9-11. I managed to tow across with my tiny pop up a few years ago, but I had to open it up at the request of many men in green with firearms. I recently was over that way and there were signs everywhere on the road to saying no trucks, no trailers over the dam. They provided an alternate route.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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You won't be able to tow your trailer across.

National Security after 9-11. I managed to tow across with my tiny pop up a few years ago, but I had to open it up at the request of many men in green with firearms. I recently was over that way and there were signs everywhere on the road to saying no trucks, no trailers over the dam. They provided an alternate route.
Thats good to know. I also wanted to cross there or at least go see it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:50 PM   #4
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How is the new bridge coming? I met some engineers in Denver several years ago that were involved with it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:42 AM   #5
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How is the new bridge coming? I met some engineers in Denver several years ago that were involved with it.

I think this is what you are looking for:

http://www.hooverdambypass.org/

Visited the dam for the first time a couple of years ago. Impressive, but not as much as Grand Coulee:

http://users.owt.com/chubbard/gcdam/

Now that is one big hunk of concrete!

Hoover contains 4.4 million yards of concrete, but Grand Coulee contains 12 million yards!

A word of caution: If you want to take the tour, you may not bring any kind of bottle nor food. I think water in a bottle is ok.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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I think this is what you are looking for:

http://www.hooverdambypass.org/

Visited the dam for the first time a couple of years ago. Impressive, but not as much as Grand Coulee:

http://users.owt.com/chubbard/gcdam/

Now that is one big hunk of concrete!

Hoover contains 4.4 million yards of concrete, but Grand Coulee contains 12 million yards!

A word of caution: If you want to take the tour, you may not bring any kind of bottle nor food. I think water in a bottle is ok.
Bear in mind that Grand Coulee is a "gravity dam", which means that it holds back the water by the weight of the concrete. As long as the weight of concrete exceeds the force of the water trying to overturn the dam, it will not fail.

Hoover dam is an "arch" dam, which resists the force of the water by re-directing that force into the right and left abutements. Should either abutement "move", such as happened at a few other locations, the "weight" of the concrete is far too little to resist the force of the water, and it will result in sudden catastrophic failure.

The Hoover Dam "arch" is only a matter of several feet thick, compared to Grand Coulee's thichness, which is probably greater than 100 yards.

I believe you will find that the height of Hoover Dam above the river channel is far higher than the height of Grand Coulee Dam. Also, the river channel at Grand Coulee is MUCH wider, therefore requiring much greater amounts of concrete per foot of height, and the "thicker" cross section will also require MUCH more concrete as well.

Although Grand Coulee seems more impressive due to it's massive bulk, once you understand how little concrete is holding back that much taller wall of water at Hoover dam (especially if you are standing on the river bank downstream), your perspective will change ;-)

Mike
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Great explanation Mike! Plus wasn't the Hoover built long before the Coulee, which was built many years later? Could explain why the construction on the Coulee is much more beefy.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:39 PM   #8
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Pardon me for being a smart asp, but the Hoover Dam is both an arch AND gravity dam. The lower you go in the dam, the wider it is. The width at the top is a small fraction of that at the bottom.

The dam was intentionally over designed because no one had previous experience with a dam of that size. In fact, the amount of curviture could have been considerably less and still have been adequate.

Did I just see this on the History Channel last night? ------ UH-HUH!
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
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I drove across this summer. Traffic was really bad, Took hours. The new bridge was close to touching in the middle but not yet. Edit: word of caution on the tour, i think it was 20 per person and 7 for parking. Prices are on their website to make sure. I kept driving, no way would I pay that since I toured for free as a kid years ago.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:16 PM   #10
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Pardon me for being a smart asp, but the Hoover Dam is both an arch AND gravity dam. The lower you go in the dam, the wider it is. The width at the top is a small fraction of that at the bottom.

The dam was intentionally over designed because no one had previous experience with a dam of that size. In fact, the amount of curviture could have been considerably less and still have been adequate.

Did I just see this on the History Channel last night? ------ UH-HUH!
The thickening at increasing depth is necessary to resist the higher water pressure at greater depth. As the pressure increases at greater depth, the concrete must be thicker to provide higher total compressive strength. That is because the increasing water force is still being transferred horizontally to the left and right abuttments. More pounds per square inch of pressure must be resisted by more square inches of concrete. Thus, the cross section of Hoover dam must increase at depth to resist increasing water pressure at depth. The compressive strength of the concrete cannot be increased, so the cross section must increase.

However, the total weight of concrete in an arch dam never approaches the amount necessary to prevent tipping the dam over.

The Malpasset dam disaster in France is an example of very tall, very thin (but still thicker at the base) "double dome" arch dam failed due to movement of one abuttment caused by a geologic fault. The movement put part of the dam in tension, rather than compression, and the dam cracked in two. The force of the water then toppled the left part, leaving only a small part standing on the right. Many people died, as there was essentially no warning.

Hope this helps,
MIke
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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My understanding is that Hoover is a gravity arch dam.

While touring the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1990s, I was told that each of its six biggest turbines carries the same volume of water as the whole Hoover dam. And there are (IIRC) eight smaller, older turbines. The Grand Coulee Dam staff seem to spend a lot of time telling people how their dam is "more this" or "bigger that" than the Hoover Dam.

They are both impressive, but the Hoover Dam is beautiful. I took the hard-hat tour (Survive the tour; keep the hard-hat) before 2001. That old saw about seizing the day is true. If I had waited until next time to take the tour, I would never have taken it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:18 PM   #12
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I think you guys are giving us too much dam information.



A little snooping shows that you CAN cross with a camper, but you will be inspected.

Expect Delays
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:10 PM   #13
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Interesting.

I'm surprised they don't specifically mention propane, because they do say that travel trailers can go across, but then in the "CANNOT" column, they list the following [bold characters mine]:

Vehicles carrying hazardous, combustible or flammable materials (other than the vehicle’s fuel), munitions, explosives, fertilizer in excess of 40 lbs., fuel in authorized containers (gas cans, fuel drums, etc.) in excess of 25 gallons, or any material perceived to be a security risk.

Seems like propane tanks might be in that category since they are not the vehicle's fuel (well, the tow vehicle's). I would have thought they would have addressed that since such a high percentage of camper-trailers do have propane bottles. The document is quite thorough and clear for the most part.

I guess one could always contact them and check.

All this talk about the dams makes me hear Woody Guthrie in my head

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Old 12-02-2009, 01:29 AM   #14
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I have crossed the dam pulling a trailer several times. Just had to stop and let the nice officers look inside.
Attached ( I hope ) is a current picture of the bridge progress!
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