The History and Construction of Some of The Biggest Dams in America

Are you a die-hard fan of Engineering feats? Then, you must know that there are great American dams that use incredible engineering techniques to restrict the water flow and are also one of the most beautiful tourist attractions. The first dam to come to mind is the Hoover Dam which draws 1 million visitors for a year. For someone who doesn’t see the wonder behind a dam, the question might be why people would be fascinated by dams?  It is the sheer industrial skill that attracts some people, while some like how the waters of the world are manipulated to produce drinking water and electricity. On the other hand, for some, it is the dam’s history and how the primitive societies used them. Regardless of your love for the dam, the U.S has dams in plenty to learn about.

Oroville Dam: In the 1960s, thousands of construction workers reached Northern California to help the Oroville Dam construction. Its size is 770 feet, and it is this size that makes it more exciting and prominent as the tallest dam in the U.S that is used for generating electricity, water supply, and to control flood. Adding to this, it impounds the human-made second largest lake in California, Lake Oroville.

Hoover Dam: The second tallest dam is Hoover Dam with a height of 726.6 feet in the U.S.  Though it is shorter by 43 feet than Oroville, in 1935, and it was the largest reservoir in America created with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s support. This reservoir provides drinking water to Americans in millions and is also a great engineering symbol of achievement.

Dworshak Dam: This is the third tallest and is the straight axis concrete dam in the United States. The 717 feet dam is located in Idaho, Clearwater River. It is unique as it is famous and has a straight design. Dworshak Dam was constructed in 1966 and was built for flood control reasons, but since 1973 it is used to generate electricity.

Glen Canyon Dam: This is a beautiful dam at the height of 710 feet. The Glen Canyon Dam in the U.S is the second highest concrete arch dam, next to the Hoover Dam.  It has 1320 megawatts capacity and contains eight hydroelectric generators. Glen Canyon construction has a history of environmentalists opposing this project as it sits within the Dinosaur National protected Monument.

New Bullards Bar Dam:  This Californian dam in Yuba County is one of the tallest dams. It is also a large reservoir holding over 100,000 acres of water. In 1969 the existing dam was constructed in the Yuba County at 645 feet, though it is on the same site as the fourth dam – New Melones Dam.

New Melones Dam: This dam is in California near Jamestown. This is the fourth largest reservoir in the country. This embankment dam is unique owing to its rock and earth construction. The dam is 625 feet high and has a history of controversy attached to it. The river recreationists and environmentalists opposed vehemently for this project but compromised eventually by restricting the water amount that the dam was able to hold.

Mossyrock Dam:  Another tall dam at 184.7 feet high is in Washington. The dam supplies Tacoma Power electricity to around 50 per cent of America. In the 1960s this dam construction cost $117 billion, but the city stopped importing energy, which was a huge benefit.