Doc
Doc
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February 28th, 2012 at 12:37:21 PM permalink
There is a thread that has been dormant for more than a year but that discussed the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tilman Memorial Bridge. That discussion wandered all over the place, but it included a number of photos of Hoover Dam and the bridge. Here is a link to my post of my visit to the bridge and dam, with my photos.

When I walked across the bridge in December 2010, I saw and photographed the marker for the Nevada-Arizona state line. That was just east of the spot where I took the photo that I posted showing the dam. I also took a photo of the dam from right at the marker, and it differs only trivially from the image that I posted. I have assumed that the state line in that immediate vicinity goes down the center of the channel of the river.

Today I was browsing Google Maps and noticed that Google shows the state line significantly offset to the east. According to that map (image below), the entire waterway and both banks from the dam down past the bridge are completely in Nevada. The bridge arch support base on the east side is located essentially where Google Maps shows the state line. That reported position for the state line has to be 100 yds. or more away from where I saw the marker on the bridge.

Is that correct? Is the entire power plant plus all of that portion of the river in Nevada? Alternatively, can Google Maps be that far off? It doesn't appear to be just an error in registration of the map coordinates -- according to the image, the state line has an abrupt direction change/offset right at the dam.

Does anyone have good information on this topic?

BTW, I recall hearing some report of a brief international conflict in Central America due to a Google Maps error. I don't think my question warrants the governors calling out the troops, but I would like to know what the correct info is.

Thanks for any help you may have.


DJTeddyBear
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February 28th, 2012 at 1:03:15 PM permalink
That is odd.

My knee-jerk reaction is to assume that it's some sort of administrative thing, and it's easier if the business side of things is all in one state, but allow the tourist things to have a more natural dividing line.

Except that it continues to extend into AZ far longer than necessary.

And a couple miles south, it dips into AZ again:

Admin note: removed image www.djteddybear.com/images/google_nv_az.JPG

On the other hand, MapQuest also shows a bent border, except it bends the other way, and remains entirely in the river:

Admin note: removed image www.djteddybear.com/images/mapquest_nv_az.JPG

Very strange....
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Nareed
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February 28th, 2012 at 1:54:30 PM permalink
On my visit to the Dam back in '08, I took the time to walk on the highway on top just to be able to say I've set foot in Arizona. As I recall, the marker was about where the map in the OP says the line is.

That takes the number of US states I've set foot on to, let's see, CA, FL, TX, GA, NY, AZ, NV (Ontario isn't a state, is it? <w>): Seven. Of course, all I did in Arizona was step on it. Georgia at least involved a 3-hour layover in Atlanta and a connecting flight to Orlando.
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rdw4potus
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February 28th, 2012 at 2:40:20 PM permalink
Nevada is in the West Connect Regional Transmission Organization for electricity, but Northwestern AZ is not. That may be a part of the reason for the drawing of the state line to include all of the dam and power-related equipment within NV.
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Doc
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February 28th, 2012 at 2:42:54 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I took the time to walk on the highway on top just to be able to say I've set foot in Arizona. As I recall, the marker was about where the map in the OP says the line is.


I agree that the marker on the dam is pretty much in the middle and matches what the Google Maps image shows. The discrepancy is downstream and at the bridge, where the indicated state line is nowhere near the marker is, out in the middle of the bridge.

I might have misunderstood you, Nareed; you were talking about "highway on top" of the dam, weren't you? I don't think anyone but construction workers were on the bridge in 2008.

Quote: rdw4potus

Nevada is in the West Connect Regional Transmission Organization for electricity, but Northwestern AZ is not.

I guess I don't understand what an organization membership would have to do with the location of the state line.
Nareed
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February 28th, 2012 at 4:29:23 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

I might have misunderstood you, Nareed; you were talking about "highway on top" of the dam, weren't you?



Of course. If I meant the bridge, I'd have said "the roadway" :P

Seriously, the bridge was under construction back in '08. It would have been too much trouble to get on it then.
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pacomartin
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February 28th, 2012 at 4:57:41 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

That is odd.
My knee-jerk reaction is to assume that it's some sort of administrative thing, and it's easier if the business side of things is all in one state, but allow the tourist things to have a more natural dividing line.
Except that it continues to extend into AZ far longer than necessary.
And a couple miles south, it dips into AZ again:



It seems that Nevada is only one of two states to significantly expand its borders after becoming a state. During the civil war when Nevada was accepted as a state, the southern boundary was the same as the northern boundary of present day Arizona. It would actually be north of Clark County.

Arizona had pro-confederate leanings when she was a territory during the civil war. As a result, the Union gave Nevada the entire Colorado river, instead of drawing the border down the middle of the river as was customary with navigable rivers.

At the time, the river was not very accessible
boymimbo
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February 28th, 2012 at 6:04:44 PM permalink
The Clark County Parcel maps site illustrated maps here that put the state line in the river.

And section 234 of Nevada Revised Statutes only addresses the border south of Davis Dam (Link here
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rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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February 28th, 2012 at 6:41:03 PM permalink
Quote: Doc


I guess I don't understand what an organization membership would have to do with the location of the state line.




Maybe nothing, and probably the membership was established after the line was drawn. But it makes sense for one state and one (and only one) Regional Transmission Organization - in this case, West Connect - to be responsible for oversight of the power off-takes from the dam.

I would rather see the plant/dam be regulated by FERC, West Connect, and Nevada than be regulated by FERC, West Connect, NV, AZ, and whatever RTO AZ is in.
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DJTeddyBear
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February 28th, 2012 at 7:55:57 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Arizona had pro-confederate leanings when she was a territory during the civil war. As a result, the Union gave Nevada the entire Colorado river, instead of drawing the border down the middle of the river as was customary with navigable rivers.

That kinda makes sense.

I then assume that the dam lowered the water level of the river downstream, which may explain why the state line stays in AZ more than seems necessary, as well as why it dips into AZ a mile or so south.

However, it certainly does not explain the weird zig-zag at the point of the dam.
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