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Columbia Basin Project, Grand Coulee Dam & Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, Across Columbia River, Southeast of Town of Grand Coulee, Grand Coulee, Grant County, WA

Columbia Basin Project, Grand Coulee Dam & Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, Across Columbia River, Southeast of Town of Grand Coulee, Grand Coulee, Grant County, WA



The Columbia Basin Project is located in 5 counties: Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, and Stevens
Significance: At the time of construction, Grand Coulee Dam was the most massive structure ever built: construction-plant innovations realized during removal of an unprecedented volume of overburden and placement of an unprecedented volume of concrete established the dam "among the construction classics" and redefined the engineering and construction community's understanding of what was possible, within a given time frame and a given budget. Construction of the largest thing on earth allowed employment of over 70,000 men and created a stream of manufacture goods, dollars, and jobs that reached 45 states. This immediate employment places Grand Coulee with the major public-works projects of the depression era, representative of a significant new public/private social and economic contract. The unprecedented volume of water stored behind Grand Coulee Dam allows irrigation and cultivation of over half-a-million acres of land, a substantial impact on the economic and social history of the region. By March, 1944, this water volume, run through generators of unprecedented size, established a world's record for electrical production by a single plant in a month's time with a gross output of more than 621,000 kilowatt hours; this output powered Pacific Northwest aluminum plants and other World War II industries.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N390
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N1269
Survey number: HAER WA-139-A
Building/structure dates: 1933-1942 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1967-1974 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1942-1947 Subsequent Work





Historic American Engineering Record, creator
Christianson, Justine, transmitter


Grand Coulee (Wash.)47.93917, -119.01209
Google Map of 47.9391662, -119.0120921


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