Page images

Title to these lands and to whatever mining claims have merit will have to be acquired.

"Five million dollars of the initial estimate is to be used in construction of the tunnels, which will eventually cost $18,000,000. While the tunnels and the cofferdams are being built all the details of the dam and its power equipment will be worked out. The Reclamation Bureau will have the cooperation of the engineers of the Los Angeles Water and Power Department and the Southern California Edison Co. and its related companies. Confidence is felt that this power equipment will represent the highest efficiency yet achieved in any industrial development of this character.

“The designing of this dam is in competent hands. No organization in any country has had greater experience in such work than the Bureau of Reclamation. Not a single dam of the 125 built by the Reclamation Bureau has failed. Its chief designing engineer, J. L. Savage, is recognized as a genius in his line. He has successively designed three dams which at the time of their construction were the highest in the world. Boulder Dam adds another to this unique record. In addition to the corps of experts on the permanent staff of the bureau, it has as consulting engineers, A. J. Wiley, who has an international reputation and is consulting engineer for the irrigation department of India; L. C. Hill, the designer and resident engineer on the Roosevelt Dam and many monumental works in this and other countries; and D. C. Henny, one of the foremost consulting engineers of the country.

"Because of the exceptional size of the dam and the difficult engineering problems involved, Congress thought it prudent to create a board of five-three engineers and two geologists—who would review the plans and estimates prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and report direct to the President. The engineers on this board—Gen. Wm. L. Seibert, builder of Gatun Locks at Panama, Daniel W. Mead, and Robert Ridgway-have approved all of the work thus far submitted to them, and will pass judgment on the detailed plans of the dam when these have been completed.

“Boulder Dam will not only be a monumental engineering work, but the laws authorizing it inaugurated the greatest scheme of rural planning yet undertaken in the West. That this scheme shall prove of the greatest possible value to the Nation, it necessitates now a study of all irrigation and power possibilities of the whole basin, and of the different States. Five hundred thousand dollars has been provided this year for studies of secondary projects in the Colorado Basin. This includes $100,000 for a study of the irrigation possibilities of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, the four States above Boulder Dam; $250,000 for surveys and preparation of plans and estimates for the Parker-Gila project in Arizona; and $150,000 for continuing the surveys and preparation of plans and estimates for the Palo Verde, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys. Altogether, these investigations will deal with the possible future reclamation of 6,000,000 acres of land, an area equal to that now irrigated in the lower Nile. Consideration must be given to a possible 6,000,000 horsepower electrical development on the river as a whole.

"To bring into harmony the varying views and conflicting interests and to work out of this a properly correlated scheme of development, require ability and experience not alone of the engineer but of the



economist and the statesman. The half century of extensive administrative experience of Commissioner Mead, his record as framer of successful policies, are convincing evidence that this great opportunity for statesmanship is in capable hands.

“R. F. Walter, the chief engineer, who will be Commissioner Mead's right-hand man in this investigation and development, is also prepared, through long years of experience in the West and the exercise of large responsibilities, to deal effectively with the varied and difficult questions which must come up for decision.

“Of one thing the public should be warned and that is the unwisdom of going to the vicinity of the dam site in the expectation of getting work without ample provision to meet the emergency should this expectation fail. The dam site is located in the midst of a great desert with few inhabitants and slight opportunity for other employment than that which it may afford. Employment will develop only as contracts are let and ample notice will be given when opportunities for work present themselves.”



SEPTEMBER 17, 1930



Washington, D. C., September 17, 1930. MY DEAR DOCTOR MEAD: 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. Sincerely yours,

RAY LYMAN WILBUR. DR. Elwood MEAD, Commissioner of Reclamation,

Washington, D. C.


« PreviousContinue »