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The second deficiency bill for 1930 (71st Cong., 2d sess.) carried the first appropriation for the construction of Hoover Dam, in the amount of $10,660,000. In support of the estimate the Secretary reported compliance with the five conditions precedent established by the Boulder Canyon project act and other legislation:

(1) The ratification of the six-State Colorado River Compact as required by section 4-A of the project act.

(2) Proclamation by the President of such ratification, including that by the State of California.

(3) An agreement by California limiting her use of water from the main stream of the Colorado River.

(4) The execution of contracts making provision for revenue adequate in the Secretary's judgment to assure payment of all expenses of operation, maintenance, and construction of the dam and appurtenant works, together with reimbursable interest.

(5) Approval of the plans by a board of engineers appointed pursuant to the statute of May 29, 1928 (45 Stat. 1011), (the Sibert board).

The presentation was made by Secretary Wilbur personally, assisted by members of the Department's staff.

The State of Arizona appeared in opposition to the appropriation, although the contracts reserved 18 per cent of firm energy for that State to be taken by it any time within 50 years, and also provided surplus revenues which were estimated to yield that State under provisions of the project act between 22 and 31 million dollars during the life of the contracts. At the hearings the opposition centered upon the contracting capacity of Los Angeles and phraseology of certain clauses of the contracts. While testimony was presented on behalf not only of the Department but of each of the contractors refuting the Arizona position, it was decided, in view of the brief time remaining before adjournment of Congress, and the possibility of a filibuster, to eliminate the Arizona objections by amendment of the contracts. The amendments were signed on May 28 and 31, 1930, and effected no change in the tenor of the instruments. The contracts were thereupon submitted to the Attorney General for opinion. He reported that “all the requirements of section 4 (6) of the Boulder Dam project act which are made conditions precedent to the appropriation of money, the making of contracts, and the commencement of work for the construction of a dam and power plant in Boulder Canyon have been fully met and performed by the Secretary of the Interior in securing the contracts referred to in his letter.” As the city and company contracts were found adequate, the objections made to the Metropolitan contract, principally the lack of funds to build an aqueduct, were not passed upon, but: "Even if the aqueduct financing were construed as being a prerequisite, the Secretary's reservation of energy for the district is within his authority under the second paragraph of section 5 (c) of the act.”

Later the State of Arizona filed its objections with the Comptroller General, and he concurred with the Attorney General. Both of these decisions appear in this volume, together with an earlier opinion of the Attorney General on interest provisions and the flood-control allocation in the project act. Subsequently the State unsuccessfully sought an injunction in the Supreme Court. The case is outlined on

a later page.


The scope of this volume is restricted to the revenue contracts; the construction contracts have been published individually. The plans and specifications for Hoover Dam and appurtenant works were prepared under the supervision of Commissioner Elwood Mead, Chief Engineer R. F. Walter, Assistant Chief Engineer S. O. Harper, and Chief Designing Engineer J. L. Savage, with whom Hydraulic Engineer E. B. Debler, Chief Electrical Engineer L. N. McClellan and Mechanical Engineer D. M. Day have been associated.42 Legal features of the construction contracts have been prepared under the direction of Chief Counsel Porter W. Dent, by District Counsel J. R. Alexander, Armand Offutt, and R. J. Coffey. The following steps complete the sequence of events preceding actual construction: On July 3, 1930, President Hoover signed the deficiency act, carrying an appropriation of $10,660,000 for initiating construction and automatically placing the power contracts in operation. Seven and a half years before, as the Federal commissioner, he had signed the Colorado River Compact, which cleared away the major obstacles to this project.

12 A group of engineers appointed by the Secretary and Commissioner and known as the “Hoover Dam Consulting Board,” consisting of Messrs. L. C. Hill, D. C. Henny, Wm. F. Durand, and F. L. Ransome, has cooperated with the Commissioner and his staff. A. J. Wiley was a member until his death.

A group known as the “Concrete Board,” specialists in cement and concrete, has also been appointed. It consists of Messrs. William K. Hatt, Raymond E. Davis, Franklin R. McMillan, Herbert J. Gilkey, and P. H. Bates.

On July 7, 1930, Order No. 436 was signed by the Secretary, directed to Commissioner Elwood Mead: “You are directed to commence construction on Boulder Dam to-day." Walker R. Young, construction engineer in charge for the Bureau of Reclamation, put his men in action the same day.43

On September 17, 1930, the first blow on the initial construction job—the driving of a silver spike in the first tie of the Union Pacific branch railroad—was struck by Secretary Wilbur, and the Secretary advised the Commissioner: “This is to notify you that the dam which is to be built in the Colorado River at Black Canyon is to be called The Hoover Dam."

On May 6, 1931, the United States assumed exclusive jurisdiction over an area necessary for construction activities in Nevada, in accordance with statutes of that State, and proceeded to build a modern town for the workers, complete with water supply, streets, sidewalks, municipal buildings, and police and fire protection.

As of February 1, 1933, construction of the dam was approximately 15 months ahead of schedule. Four diversion tunnels had been completed; the coffer dams were in place and the river had been successfully diverted. Excavation is now under way and it is expected that the pouring of concrete will commence in the summer of 1933, and that the dam will be completed in 1936. Six Companies (Inc.), is the contractor for construction of the dam, and Mr. Frank T. Crowe is the contractor's superintendent. A summary of operations to date appears in the margin.


43 The Government personnel at Boulder City is headed by Walker R. Young, construction engineer. His immediate staff comprises Ralph Lowry, assistant construction engineer; John C. Page, office manager; and Sims Ely, Boulder City manager.

44 CONTRACTS-AWARDED AND PROPOSED-BOULDER CANYON PROJECT,—The following is a summary prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation:

Under an appropriation of $10,660,000 made available July 3, 1930, for the first year's operations, Boulder Canyon project, Arizona-California-Nevada, the


The Boulder Canyon project act makes three principal provisions with respect to the use of the waters to be stored by Hoover Dam, in addition to the authorization for building the All-American Canal.

(1) The three States of Arizona, California, and Nevada are authorized to enter into a compact with each other for the allocation following work was carried on: Railroad for construction purposes from near Las Vegas, Nev., to dam site; highway from Boulder City to dam site; buildings, streets, water and sewer systems for Boulder City; purchase of power for construction purposes; starting work on the Hoover Dam, power plant, and appurtenant works, including the four diversion tunnels. For the fiscal year 1931-32, a further appropriation of $15,000,000 was made, and for the fiscal year 1932–33, an appropriation of $23,000,000 is available. The principal work during the past year has been the construction of four 50-foot diameter diversion tunnels and the building of Boulder City.

The work on the project is being done by contract rather than by Government forces.

The Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Co. (Union Pacific System), of Los Angeles, Calif., built a 22.7-mile section of railroad from its main line, a few miles below Las Vegas, Nev., to Boulder City, and this branch road is in operation.

The Southern Sierras Power Co., of Riverside, Calif., has the contract for furnishing power for construction purposes. A transmission line was constructed for a distance of 235 miles from- Victorville, Calif., to the dam site. The company also built a substation near the dam site. Power was available on the project June 25, 1931. Both transmission line and substation are operated and maintained by the power company.

Bids were opened on January 7, 1931, at Las Vegas, Nev., for building a highway about 7 miles long from Boulder City to the site of Hoover Dam. The General Construction Co., of Seattle, Wash., was awarded the contract, and sublet the work to R. G. Le Tourneau (Inc.), of Stockton, Calif. This job was completed in June, 1931.

On January 12, 1931, bids were opened at Las Vegas, Nev., for constructing 10% miles (including branches) of the Government construction railroad from the end of the Los Angeles and Salt Lake sections at Boulder City to the dam site. The Lewis Construction Co., of Los Angeles, Calif., was awarded the contract. The railroad was completed in September, 1931. This Government section of railroad is being operated during the construction period by the contractor for the dam.

Bids were opened on March 4, 1931, at Denver, Colo., for construction of the Hoover Dam, power plant, and appurtenant works. The low bid of $48,890,995 was submitted by the Six Companies (Inc.), 510 Financial Center Building, San Francisco, Calif., made up of the Utah Construction Co., of Ogden, Utah; Henry J. Kaiser and W. A. Bechtel Co., of Oakland, Calif., and 206 Sansome Street, San Francisco, Calif., respectively; MacDonald & Kahn (Ltd.) of Los Angeles, Calif.; Morrison-Knudson Co., of Boise, Idaho; J. F. Shea Co., of Portland, Oreg.; and Pacific Bridge Co., of Portland, Oreg. On March 11, 1931, the Secretary of the Interior awarded the contract to the Six Companies (Inc.). These contractors have a field office at Boulder City, Nev., with F. T. Crowe as

of water available to the lower basin under the Colorado River compact. No such agreement has been made.

(2) The project act also authorizes, in section 19, future compacts among the seven basin States relating to the development and use of the Colorado River. No agreement has been entered into under that section.

(3) The Secretary of the Interior is authorized by section 5 to make contracts for the delivery of waters stored by the dam, and it is provided that no person may acquire a right to the use of such waters except by such a contract. Negotiations of 1930: The Metropolitan Water District.

Two major applications for water contracts were brought forward at an early stage. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Imperial Irrigation District each presented applications. The first proposed to build an aqueduct from the Colorado River to

general superintendent. This is the most important job on the Boulder Canyon project, and includes the 730-foot dam, the four 50-foot diameter diversion tunnels, cofferdams, spillways, outlet works, and the power plant (but not including installation of machinery). The construction period will be about 6 years. The contractor is now over 15 months ahead of schedule.

A contract for Boulder City work including street, alley, parking area, and sidewalk grading; street paving; street and parking area surfacing; curbs and gutters; sidewalks; sanitary sewers; and water distribution system was completed by the New Mexico Construction Co., of Alburqueque, N. Mex., in April, 1932. Construction of cottages for Government employees, varying in size from 3 to 7 rooms, and administration building, dormitory and guest house, post-office building and community garages has been completed. A 10-room school building was completed and ready for occupancy in September, 1932. I. M. Bay, of Junction, Utah, was the ntractor.

The Consolidated Steel Corporation, of Los Angeles, Calif., is furnishing 50 by 50 foot bulkhead and 50 by 35 foot Stoney gates, and the Hardie-Tynes Manufacturing Co., of Birmingham, Ala., and the Reading Iron Works, of Reading, Pa., are supplying gate hoists. The Babcock & Wilcox Co., of New York City, has the contract for furnishing, erecting, and painting 4 plate-steel headers, varying from 30 to 25 feet in diameter, including 13-foot diameter penstocks, for $10,908,000. The time allowed for completion of this contract is 1,975 days, and the weight of the pipe materials is about 110,000,000 pounds. A fabricating plant is being built by the contractor at Bechtel, about 1 mile from the dam site.

Bids will be opened on March 3, 1933, for furnishing the initial group of turbines, butterfly valves, and governors for the power plant. The first installation comprises five 115,000-horsepower and two 55,000-horsepower, vertical hydraulic turbines. The 115,000-horsepower wheels will be the largest in the world exceeding in size a recent installation on the Dnieper River in Russia. The power plant is laid out for an ultimate installation of fifteen 50-cycle main generating units of 82,500 kv-a. capacity each, and two 60-cylce main generating units of 40,000 kv-a. capacity each. The bureau is now advertising for bids on furnishing 8 welded plate-steel cylinder gates, 32 feet in diameter and 10

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