Major Engineering Events in History: Golden Gate Bridge and Boulder Dam 1938

About the major engineering events in history, the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge and Boulder Dam in 1937 and 1938.

1937-1938 A.D. (The Golden Gate Bridge and Boulder Dam). The 1930s in the U.S. witnessed a great surge of engineering effort that resulted in the production of 2 of America's famous landmarks, both monumental engineering feats of their age: the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the entrance to San Francisco's great harbor, and Boulder Dam (now renamed Hoover Dam) that spans the Colorado River near Las Vegas, Nev.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the largest and most spectacular suspension bridges in the world. It spans a distance of 4,200' between towers (one of the longest spans on record), and cost $35 million when it was built by Joseph B. Strauss. It is now surpassed by the 4,260' span of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge crossing the entrance to New York harbor. This bridge, built by Othmar H. Ammann, had cost $305 million by the time it was completed in 1964.

Boulder Dam was one of man's most imposing engineering feats, and it still ranks today as one of the world's great dams. Designed and built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the entire project cost $385 million (the dam itself cost $120 million). When completed, it was the world's highest dam (726'), the world's largest dam (4,400,000 cubic yards of concrete), and it had created one of the greatest of man-made lakes in Lake Meade, 115 mi. long and 589' deep. It can store 32,300,000 acre-feet of water, and produce 1,345 megawatts of power. It has, however, been surpassed many times in ensuing years. The current record holders are: Nurek in the U.S.S.R. at 1,017' high; Torbela in Pakistan, containing 186 million cubic yards of material; and the Grand Coulee Dam in the State of Washington, which has produced 9,771 megawatts at its peak load.

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