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Denison Dam, 1993 HCEL
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The Denison Dam, the largest rolled-earth dam in the world when completed in 1944, at 15,000 feet long and 165 feet high, created Lake Texoma - the second largest lake in Texas, with a shoreline of 1, 250 miles. The Red River, which separates Texas from Oklahoma and from Louisiana, has always been a strong and dangerous waterway. The idea of building a dam to tame this important channel, championed by Denison Resident, George Moulton, and advanced by Representative Sam Rayburn of Bonham (who would later become speaker of the House), was authorized by the Flood Control Act and funded by the WPA.

Although the primary function of the dam was flood control, it also generates electrical power. The construction of Denison Dam has been instrumental in the development of dam construction methodology, as it is used as a model by the Army Corps of Engineers in arid environments. Additionally, sampling procedures and equipment developed during this project are now commonly used in soil testing. One piece in particular, a sampling device called the Denison Barrel, is able to obtain undisturbed samples of heavy clay. Denison Dam is currently worth tens of thousands of dollars in water supply contracts, has prevented hundreds of thousands more in flood damages, and is still one of the most productive of its kind in the world.

Owner: 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineers:
Gen. Lucius D. Clay (District)
  Asa V. Shannon (Principal)
Contractors:
Shutt Construction Co.
  John Kerns Construction Co.
  C.F. Lytle Construction Co.
  Guy F. Atkinson Co.
Photo:  Robert Nunnally
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