A new bridge spans the Colorado near the dam that came to symbolize America’s great promise—and changed the American West forever
On December 21, 1928, Pres. Coolidge signed the act authorizing construction of a civilian engineering project the likes of which the world had never seen: a 726-foot-tall concrete structure that would dam the wild and flood-prone Colorado River at a cost of $49 million. By 1931, as the Great Depression continued to erode national confidence, the dam came to symbolize American resilience, can-do spirit, and know-how. On this, the 75th anniversary of the year of its dedication, Hoover Dam requires no major repairs and is universally acknowledged as one of the great examples of engineering prowess.