Davis Dam

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Davis Dam
Davis Dam 2.jpg
Davis Dam
Official name Davis Dam
Location Clark County, Nevada / Mohave County, Arizona, USA
Coordinates 35°11′56″N 114°34′10″W / 35.19876°N 114.56949°W / 35.19876; -114.56949Coordinates: 35°11′56″N 114°34′10″W / 35.19876°N 114.56949°W / 35.19876; -114.56949
Opening date 1951
Operator(s) U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Dam and spillways
Impounds Colorado River
Height 60m
Length 490m
Reservoir
Creates Lake Mohave
Surface area 26,500 acres (10,700 Ha)
Power station
Hydraulic head 41m
Turbines 5 Francis turbines
Installed capacity 251 MW

Davis Dam is a dam on the Colorado River about 70 miles (110 km) downstream from Hoover Dam. It stretches across the border between Arizona and Nevada. Originally called Bullhead Dam, Davis Dam was renamed after Arthur Powell Davis, who was the director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1914 to 1932. The United States Bureau of Reclamation owns and operates the dam, which was completed in 1951.

Aerial photo taken in 1972

Davis Dam is a zoned earth fill dam with a concrete spillway, 1,600 ft (490 m) in length at the crest, and 200 ft (61 m) high. The earth fill dam begins on the Nevada side, but it does not extend to the Arizona side. Instead, there is an inlet formed by earth and concrete. At the end of the inlet, there is the spillway. The power plant is on the side of the inlet, perpendicular to the dam. This is a very unusual design. The dam's purpose is to re-regulate releases from Hoover Dam and facilitate the delivery of Colorado River water to Mexico. Bullhead City, Arizona, and Laughlin, Nevada, are located just below the dam along the river. Davis Camp is also nearby. Bullhead City was originally a construction town for workers building the dam.

A road is located on the crest of the earth fill portion of the dam and a bridge spans the inlet. It was formerly a stretch of Arizona State Route 68. The highway was rerouted in 2004, which allowed more lanes for the highway and increased security at the dam. Also, barriers have been placed on each side of the dam. The barriers are intended to stop vehicles, but pedestrians are not prohibited on the dam. The rest of the road is open to traffic.

The Davis Dam Power Plant is located on the Arizona side of the dam. The hydroelectric plant generates between 1 and 2 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. The plant has a capacity of 251 MW (337,000 hp) and the tops of its five Francis turbines are visible from outside the plant. The plant's head is 136 ft (41 m).

Davis Dam impounds the Colorado River and forms Lake Mohave.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Original engineering drawings
Original engineering drawings