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Construction of Hoover Dam - An Engineering Wonder

COURSE NO: B07-001
Construction of Hoover Dam - An Engineering Wonder
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course analyzes the construction of Hoover Dam from a historical perspective. The course document provides written and photographic presentation of the construction of Hoover Dam.


The construction project included a combination of unprecedented logistical projects, some of which were significant projects in their own right. The dam site was chosen in a desolate area of desert on the Nevada/Arizona border where with no existing infrastructure. A city to house over 5,000 workers, railroads, roads, shuttle vehicles for workers, electric power supply, pedestrian bridges and cable trolleys were just some of the infrastructure that had to be built just to start preparing the site. To begin construction of the dam, an earthen diversion dam, a coffer dam at the downstream side of the dam, rock scaling, and a short railroad in the canyon floor were some of the tasks to be completed.


Depending on where they are counted, fatalities range from 96 to 112. Of the recorded fatalities, two of them stand out. The first site fatality occurred in 1922 when J.G. Tierney fell from a geologic survey barge into the Colorado River and drowned. Thirteen years later, to the day, Patrick W. Tierney, J.G.’s son, fell from the intake tower and drowned. Patrick’s death was the last fatal accident related to construction of Hoover Dam.


The grand scale of Hoover Dam is apparent by observing the completed dam and power plant. Less apparent, but just as impressive is the scale of the collective cooperation between, city, state, and federal government agencies and newly formed regional basin authorities and joint ventures between competing corporations.


This 7 PDH online course is intended for civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, surveyors and planners who are interested in a historical perspective of the construction of Hoover Dam.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding the geology of the Colorado River
  • Learning about the discovery of the Colorado River
  • Understanding the problems for inhabitants of the Colorado River Basin prior to Hoover Dam
  • Understanding of water rights in the Colorado River Basin
  • Understanding of the economic conditions during the planning phase of the project
  • Learning about the political and regulatory interests in Hoover Dam
  • Learning about the design of Hoover Dam
  • Learning about the diversion tunnel construction of Hoover Dam
  • Learning about the coffer dam construction at Hoover Dam
  • Familiarizing with the trolley systems used to move concrete to the dam
  • Understanding the segmental block method of construction used to minimize buildup of heat in the dam
  • Understanding the piping system constructed in the block segments to remove heat from the segmental blocks.
  • Learning about the history of the sequence of events from planning to site selection to construction
  • Learning about the infrastructure requirements of the construction project
  • Learning about the benefits of power generation at Hoover Dam
  • Knowing the size and volume of Lake Mead
  • Learning about the timeline of the construction events for Hoover Dam
  • Knowing the facts about Hoover Dam’s record breaking components
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the document titled, “Construction of Hoover Dam – An Engineering Wonder” which is based on the Department of Interior (DOI), Bureau of Reclamation publication, “Hoover Dam - 50 Years”.
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Construction of Hoover Dam - An Engineering Wonder(6.7 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of thirty five (35) questions to earn 7 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this DOI publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: