Sunday, June 11, 2017

Day 37 - Las Vegas, NV

This picture was taken a little after 7 this morning and though today didn't look too bad, next week looks miserable. But we don't plan on being around next week. Tomorrow, the plan is to head into Utah. I don't expect it to be a whole lot cooler in the southwest corner. But I'm getting ahead of myself. This morning, we headed out on Hwy 93 for Hoover Dam. I hadn't been here in awhile. Not since the new bypass bridge was built.

We took the power plant tour which was half the price of the dam tour and the time worked out better. They took the group down into the daw with a couple of stops including one of the two generator rooms. Three of the generators were on line at the time indicated by the light at the top. Low water levels in Lake Mead translates to lower power production. The turbines were in the process of being upgraded to use less water for the same turbine speed. But less water volume translates into less power. (Conservation of energy)

After the tour, we were free to wander through the exhibits and up to the observation deck on the new visitor center. Some pretty nice views from up there both of the dam itself but also the new bridge.

This is the new bypass bridge. Bypass meaning not driving on top of the dam with all of the tourist foot traffic. BTW, part of the new visitors center is a parking garage. Just the ticket for sunny days like today.

This is the new visitors center built on the Nevada side. The observation deck is on the left.
During the tour, we were told that Lake Mead is only at 36% of it's capacity. Since the primary purpose of the dam is managing the water, the generators can only be run at partial capacity or they would drain the lake.

For dinner tonight we went to the buffet at the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino. Not the nicest one in town but plenty of variety and pretty tasty. 


Trobairitz said...

Smart move on their part to put a bypass bridge in. I can't see that many tourists mingling with traffic well.

RichardM said...

There was a great History Channel show on the construction of the bridge.

SonjaM said...

I remember crossing the dam was a horrid task with all the tourists running around not minding traffic.

Dams are most impressive architectural gems.

RichardM said...

The bridge has reduced the traffic which probably helps. When we were there the most common vehicular traffic were packs of motorcycles, convertibles and sports cars. All groups that wanted to "be seen". ;-)

BeemerGirl said...

I've sat in traffic for hours to cross that bridge for years before that bypass was a wink in someone's eye. Best thing they did. Too bad the lake is suffering so much.

RichardM said...

I was surprised to hear that it took 6 1/2 years to fill up Lake Mead in the first place.

Lynne Goebeler said...

I've never been to Lake Mead, but we did go to Glen Canyon dam on Lake Powell. I guess Mead doesn't get snowmelt. Powell actually went up 40 feet from snowmelt this year! Sorry it's so hot, hopefully it won't be as bad in Utah.