So what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas?
The last time we visited Hoover Dam that arch bridge didn't exist, it fact the week we visited the initial towers to put cables across the canyon were blown over by high winds!
The other thing we noticed was the drop in water level compared with ten years earlier in 2006. Scaling it out from the two photos it looks like a 15 metre drop; checking the Hoover Dam site I learnt it is actually over a 51 foot drop.
The surface area when full to capacity is 650km² something that last occured in 1983 due to heavy winter snow melt. If we take a figure of say 600km² with a 15 metre drop that equals 9 Million cubic metres/tonnes of water dropped over the last ten years, massive figures.
The bridge in the background is new since then, it was started in 2005 and completed in 2010; it's part of U.S. Route 93 that joins Arizona and Nevada and is the widest concrete arch bridge in the western hemisphere apparently.
Hoover Dam viewed on 15th December 2016, my lines show the water level shown below in 2006
Hoover Dam photo taken October 2006, with approx 9,000,000m² more water!
Visiting the Turbine Hall and the Dam tour with thermal images
We first visited The Hoover Dam on a bus tour from Vegas that took most of the day, this time we could take our time as we had a hire car for a couple of weeks.
If you do visit make time for the 1.5 hour tour that takes you down into the working part of the dam with a visit to the Turbine Hall with some rather snazzy art deco features; lots of brass and marble floors.
Was interested as an engineeer to take some FLIR One images with my iPhone and look at some of the temperature readings; hope you like the images below.
The Turbine Hall and viewing platform floor; very 1930s Art Deco style
FLIR One image processed in FLIR Tools App showing target temperature
Another FLIR One image of engineer working in the turbine hall with ancillary equipment operational
So that's what a Reliability Engineer does on holiday, visits engineering marvels and wonder at the resourses that went into realising such a massive project.
An example is the cooling of concete poured to ensure integrity involved a huge chilling process on site that could produce 1,000 tons of ice in 24 hours, it fed chilled water through 582 miles of 1 inch diameter imbedded steel pipe to ensure correct curing.
Hope you enjoyed the post, if you did then please leave a comment.