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Great American Infrastructure: Oroville, California: Oroville Dam

Posted by Steve Anderson on Friday, February 1st, 2013

This is the twenty-seventh in a series of entries celebrating infrastructure achievements in the United States.


What: The Oroville Dam, located in California is the tallest dam in the United States.

When: Initial construction began in 1961 & the Oroville Dam officially opened on May 4th, 1968.

Why: The Oroville Dam provides irrigation water, flood control, and nearly three billion kilowatt-hours of power.

– Length: 6,920 feet
– Height: 770 feet
– Volume: 77,619,000 cubic yd

Interesting facts: Over 80 million cubic yards of material were needed to build the Oroville Dam. There is enough material to build a two-lane highway around the earth in the Dam.

Due to concerns about local fish populations, a special fish barrier dam was built to lead salmon and steelhead, returning to spawn, into the Feather River Fish Hatchery

In 1967, the Oroville Dam was named by the California Society of Professional Engineers as one of the seven wonders of engineering in California.

 Learn more about the creation and history of the Oroville Dam here:

americanvideographer on YouTube.


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2 Responses to “Great American Infrastructure: Oroville, California: Oroville Dam”

  1. Elanor Deck says:

    Im writing a book of my life and my father was a foremam from beginning to finish of the oroville dam I would like to use your photos and content in my book. Is this acceptable? Permissable?? Please reply ASAP. THANKS

  2. Content Coordinator says:

    Hi Elanor, and thanks for your interest–these pictueres are actually from Wikimedia commons. The first one is in the public domain, so you can use it (though I would recommend the higher resolution on Wikimedia). It looks like the photographer of the second picture recently revoked the right to use & distribute his work, so I wouldn’t use that one if I were you. Hope that helps!


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