Bonneville Dam is located on the Columbia River, 40 miles east of Portland, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, right on the Oregon-Washington border. The Columbia River Gorge is popular both as a scenic drive as well as one of the main ways to travel from east to west in the region. There are a lot of great attractions to see in the area there, including many of the dams on the lower Columbia River. If you go there, be sure and make Bonneville Dam one of your stops.
Fun Facts About Bonneville Dam
-Construction was completed and Bonneville Dam opened in 1937.
-The two counties that the Bonneville touches are Multnomah County in Oregon and Skamania County in Washington.
-The construction cost of the first powerhouse was $88.4 million. The second powerhouse came in with a price tag of $664 million.
-The United States Army Corps of Engineers operate Bonneville Dam while the Bonneville Power Administration is responsible for marketing and administering the power produced.
-The water backed up behind the Bonneville Dam is known as Lake Bonneville.
-When the navigational lock opened at the Bonneville Dam in 1938, it was the largest single lift lock in the entire world.
-The original lock system became obsolete and a new lock to move ships up and down the river past the dam was opened to river traffic in 1993. The original lock is still in place but is no longer used.
-The Bonnevile Dam spillway features 18 gates.
-Bonneville Dam is 197 feet tall.
-Bonneville Dam is 2,690 feet long.
-Bonneville Dam produces enough electricity to supply 500,000 homes on average.
-Bonneville Dam stretches across three small islands on the Columbia River. The names of those islands are Cascades Island, Robins Island, and Bradford Island.
-1981 saw the long awaited second powerhouse start producing energy at Bonneville Dam.
-1987 saw the Bonneville Dam Historic District designated a National Historic Landmark District.