OPERATION GLEN CANYON: COLORADO DAM CONSTRUCTION - WILDLIFE DOCUMENTARY
The. Colorado flows, to the sea. Through. Rock and sand Canyon, and cliff. Through, the towering formations. Of the sun-drenched. Desert. The. Colorado, flows, to the sea. From. The towering mountains, of Colorado. From. The rugged mountains of Wyoming. From. The lofty, mountains of Utah. From. The rolling, mountains of New Mexico. Come. The tributaries. Of the Colorado. Collecting. The runoff for more than, 100,000. Square miles, of high plateaus, and mountain valleys. The. Yampa the white in the Roaring Fork. The, many more the price the San Rafael. But amici, the eagle, and the uncompact, rain. The. Sandy, the Chaco the. Culture taupe and. The. Green the, Gunnison, and the San Juan. Down. To the Colorado. Stained. With the soil of five states, the river cuts deep into the desert, into. The high walls, of Glen Canyon. For. 170. Miles Glen, Canyon, carries, the muddy river through the parched Red Rocks of southeastern. Utah. Into. The sandstone cliffs, of northern Arizona. For. 40 years men planned and designed the, means to regulate, the flow of this river every. Contour. Of the canyons, was mapped and surveyed, in the search for the best dam site. In. 1956. These men were rewarded, for their efforts as the first blast began, the construction of a giant Glen, Canyon, Dam. Bordering. On the vast space of the Navajo, Reservation. The, dam site soon became the objective, of a slowly growing army. Of construction, experts. And. The. Machines of heavy construction brought, new sounds, to this land of the Navajo. New. Highways, were built to reach the dam site through. Arizona, and through Utah. New, highways, through two states each. Ending, at the rim of Glen Canyon, Glen. Canyon. Dam a. Huge. Construction project. Bisected. By a 700. Foot deep canyon, and, no. Way to cross the. Only, answer was a bridge a long. High, steel, spanned, link, the canyon, rims. Construction. Of the bridge was soon underway. The. Last steel beam by, tradition, bearing the American flag was. Lowered slowly. Into position, on a hot August morning. And. Within. A few months the bridge was finished. Completing. The world's, highest steel, arch bridge. It. Was acclaimed the most beautiful, bridge in America opened to traffic in. 1959. With. The opening, of new highways, in the new bridge. Tourists. Began coming to watch the construction of, giant Glen Canyon, Dam the. Guides point, out the 710, foot high dam is part of a vast undertaking, called. The Colorado River storage project. Many. Large and small dams will be constructed, on the tributaries, of the Colorado, but.
When Canyon, Dam will be the key structure, in this plan for, expanded, use of water throughout. The upper basin States. Glen. Canyon, dams, role, in the project will, be to store great quantities, of water to meet downstream. Commitments. It. Will, not provide irrigation directly. But. It's priceless reservoir. Will make possible increased, use of far-distant. Upstream, tributaries. As, a. By-product. Valuable. Electrical, energy will be carried over a federal backbone, transmission. System, to. Meet the need of growing, cities and industries. To, prepare, the canyon to make it safe for workers below a group. Of daring, men called, high scalars, had. To comb the canyon walls. Removing. Loose rock. Drilling. Trusting. To a slender, line hanging, from the canyon rim far, above. Meanwhile. At River level men with grills dynamite. And mucking machines, began, to bite into the sandstone walls. Two. Tunnels each as wide as a house were cut through a half mile of rock to. Divert the river from its channel. In. February. Cold, when. The distant mountains slept under a blanket of winter snow, the. Low flows, of the muddy Colorado. Slipped. By the dam site. This. Was the time to close the coffer dam and to, move the river from its bed. Angrily. The water fought, to remain. Pounding. Digging. Driving. The boulders, before it. But. Eventually the, truckloads, of broken rock closed, the, gap and. The. Water began moving for the giant diversion, tunnels. The. Colorado, River felt the reins of, man's control. Soon. The warm spring, winds shrank. The distance snow banks and the. New tunnels, felt the full fury. Of the raging river. High. Above the tunnels, on the rock walls of the canyon. Men. And machines began, to cut the key waves huge, notches. Extending, from the rim to the river. The. Concrete, of the dam will be fitted into these key ways to, anchor, the giant structure, into the canyon walls. With. The river bypassed, and the, keyways cut, to the canyon, floor. Power. Shovels, and draglines began, to clear the sand mud. And gravel from the old riverbed. The. Men have been canyon prepared for their fourth year of building the dam. Remove. The rock, remove. The sand. Remove. The gravel, laid down in the ages before man. Get. Down to the bedrock and wash it clean. 137. Feet below the river the sandstone, was laid bare to the Sun ready. To receive the massive concrete of, Glen Canyon Dam. Midday. Of the construction, site. At. The coffer dams in the, foundation, area and on the canyon rim a. Stillness. Falls, as, the. Men rest and prepare for the task ahead. Midday. At the town of page two, miles away. Lunchtime. For the wives and Families. Page. Is a city carved, from the raw desert, when the work of the big dam first, began. More. Than 900. Trailers, accommodate. Many of the construction, workers and their families. Page. Was planned for, people. For. People who want to live in a clean ordered.
Community. For. People who want schools, doctors. Stores, and churches. For. People who will live here and operate. The dam and power plant in years to come. They. Shop in modern, air-conditioned, stores. And. They. Have created ways to use their leisure. A. Land. Of free-flowing, wind, of, the. Black brush the. Sagebrush. And, the. Dryland, grass a. Town. Has grown where, none had stood before a. City. Shaped, by the forces of nature. Sustained. By, the efforts, of man. At. The dam site the, foundation. Rock that had been laid bare and carefully. Cleaned was. Ready for the concrete, soon to come. During. The years of excavation. Giant. Plants, were built to process, and supply each of the ingredients, that would go into the concrete. Aggregate. Comprises. The bulk of concrete, this. Rock and sand are, wash. Screened. And sorted, by, a large plant six miles from the dam site. The. Aggregate, is stored on the rim of Glen Canyon to. Await delivery, by, underground, conveyor, belt to the mixing plant. 188. Miles south, of the dam site a new. Cement plant has been built to convert the limestone and, other minerals, into three, million, barrels of cement for Glen Canyon. Dam a. Truck. Loads and leaves this plant approximately. Every 40, minutes day and night. Pozzolan. A natural. Cement like material, is. Used in place of some of the cement to, give the concrete, more desirable, qualities. Pozzolan. Is obtained, from a volcanic, deposit. Near Flagstaff. There. It is finely ground and, trucked to the dam site. Even. The water to be mixed with the concrete, requires a plant a, mammoth. Refrigeration. Plant the. Largest yet used in building a dam. Here. Ice. Is produced in vast quantities to. Be used in place of some of the water in the mixed concrete. The. Refrigeration. Plant also cools, water, to be pumped through tubing. Embedded, in the dam itself. The. Cold water carries, away chemical, heat generated. As the concrete cures. And. The. Most important, plant of all the. Mixing, plant. Perched. Like a fortress, on a ledge of the canyon this, towering, plant, is as high as a 20-story. Building. Ingredients. Are fed into this plant where they are measured, mixed. Chilled, and tested, to produce, heavy wet, concrete. The. Final step is the swift lowering, of the concrete, from the mixing planet of the canyon. Great. Cables, attached to moving towers, on each rim swing. The buckets to any spot in the dam or power plant. On. June 17. 1960. Everything. Lay in readiness for the first bucket of concrete. A. Large. Crowd, assembled, on the high bridge to watch the operations, or below. Almost. Four years had been spent in the canyon, excavating.
Building. Plants getting. Ready. But. All preparations. Were now at an end as the. Elaborate machinery, that would feed concrete, to the great dam was, set in motion. The. Secretary, of Interior had, pulled the lanyard, releasing, the first 12, cubic, yards of concrete onto, the rock floor. The. First bucket. First. Of over. 400,000. To be mixed in the noisy clatter of a concrete, plant, and since, sailing, to the white barrier, below. Atari. D. Dear, lady. Hey. Was another bucket, down there everybody. Gon. Have off. Oh. The. Dam is built in blocks that will be later sealed together with cement grout to. Make the dam a single. Solid, concrete mass. The. Biggest individual, blocks are 70, feet wide and. 220. Feet long. From. The canyon rim the scene appears to have little activity, an. Army. Of workmen, virtually, hidden in the great Canyon. Swiftly, the great, drop their loads of concrete. And. Slowly, the massive dam rises skyward. As, actors, in the drama of the Colorado, the. Workman in the canyon, below now hold the stage. But. Soon other men will have their turn, men. Who now wait and prepare. In, a plant near Flagstaff men, fabricate. The penstocks. Giant. Steel pipes, that. Will carry the cold clear water through. The dam to. Drive the turbines, and generators. Some. Of the penstock sections, weigh as much as 100. Tons. Trucks. Carrying, these for the dam site can travel only 15, miles an hour. Cities. And industries in the Intermountain West wait. For electrical energy, that will come from Glen Canyon, Dam. Farmers. And ranchers in Colorado, Wyoming Utah, and, New Mexico, wait. For irrigation, projects. Made, possible, because, Glen, Canyon, Dam and other storage, units will control, the upper Colorado River. And in. Scenic Glen Canyon, National. Park, Service, Rangers, prepare, for the influx, of visitors who, will vote fish. And swim, in the blue waters behind the dam. The. Glen Canyon Reservoir has. Been named Lake Powell in honor, of John Wesley, Powell, Explorer. Scientist. And early, proponent, of reclamation, in the West. As. The waters rise in Lake Powell the. Narrow side, canyons, will, become intriguing, inlets, of matchless beauty. Higher. On the, red cliffs the. Water will lap against rock formations. Now rarely, reached by man. A new. Hours come for Grand Canyon for, the Colorado River and for. The people who look to the river for the benefits, it can bring, the. Harsh sounds, of drag lines and, power shovels, have. Echoed through the desert, Canyon but. They are heard no more, now. The roar, of concrete, mixers. Sandblasters. And pumps fill the air, but. These two will shortly be gone. Soon. The hum of generators. Will replace the sounds, of construction in, the deep gorge and, Glen. Canyon, Dam will, endure, an, important. And noble venture for. Tomorrow. You.