Bonneville Dam

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  • Bonneville Dam is located approximately forty miles east of Portland, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Spanning the Columbia River, it connects the states of Oregon and Washington. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began construction on the dam and lock in 1933 using the labor of workers provided by the Works Progress Administration. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the structures on September 28, 1937, and named them and the reservoir they created after U.S. Army Capt. Benjamin Bonneville, an explorer who helped map much of what eventually became the Oregon Trail. Construction on the lock was completed in 1938, and at the time, it was the largest single-lift lock in the world with a sixty-foot vertical lift. The Bonneville ...

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