Thursday, July 8, 2010
Great Engineering Feats of the Desert
One of the things I love about America's deserts is man's ability to build engineering marvels in some of the most inhospitable land that allow for people to live in greater numbers than they otherwise could. To the left is the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge near Page, Arizona.
This bridge made a trip across the gorge a quick jaunt where absent the bridge hundreds of miles would have to traveled to get from one side to another.
Route 66 the fabled transcontinental highway prior to the Interstate system is another great feat. This famous highway stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. It made the road trip famous. Here part of Route 66 is still in use today at Gallup, New Mexico.
Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona was one of the most expensive highway projects in U.S. history. Blasted through the winding canyon and crossing the Virgin River several times it is a wonder that this stretch of highway was ever built. Before its completion to get to Las Vegas, Nevada from St. George, Utah required a trip directly west about 10 miles and then on a two lane highway over a mountain pass down to Littlefield, Arizona. The I-15 project took an hour off the drive to Las Vegas to Salt Lake each way.
Duchesne is 10 miles to the east and Heber City is 40 miles northwest.
Modern engineering has made living in a desert, which I do possible in all aspects of life. Sometime appreciating a desert is being thankful for the man made things as well as the beauty of nature.