Lower Granite Dam sits on the Snake River in Eastern Washington and is a vital part of life in the region. It provides both hydroelectricity production as well as opportunities for outdoor recreation. For travelers who love dams, it’s also a great place to come and check out one that often goes unseen. Another somewhat unique part of Lower Granite Dam is that, with certain restrictions, you can drive your own vehicle right across the top of the dam to get from one side of it to the other. It’s a little out of the way but a visit to Lower Granite Dam can be a lot of fun.
Fun Facts About Lower Granite Dam
-Construction began on Lower Granite Dam in 1965 and it was not completed and opened until 1975.
-In 1967, just two years into construction, Lower Granite Dam’s progress was halted as the project stopped due to a lack of funding. Work would restart in 1970.
-Lower Granite Dam is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
-The final cost of construction for Lower Granite Dam was just over $624,000,000.
-Lower Granite Dam is a gravity dam.
-Lower Granite Dam spans the Snake River, touching Garfield County on one side and Whitman County on the other.
-Lower Granite Dam measures in at 100 feet tall.
-Lower Granite Dam is 3,200 feet long.
-The water backed up behind Lower Granite Dam is known as Lower Granite Lake.
-Lower Granite Lake extends 39 miles up the Snake River.
-When the water backed up by Lower Granite Dam reached back to the city of Lewiston, Idaho, it allowed it to become a port city.
-Lower Granite Dam has six power producing turbines. When it opened in 1975, it had three operational turbines. The additional three were added in 1978.
-Lower Granite Dam features eight spillway gates.
-Lower Granite Dam is the furthest upstream of any Snake River Dam that is equipped with a fish ladder.
-The navigational lock at Lower Granite Dam measures in at 674 feet long and 86 feet wide.
-In a rather unique design, the navigational lock at Lower Granite Dam sits in the middle of the dam instead of along either shoreline.
-The road across Lower Granite Dam was closed following the September 11 attacks in 2001. It stayed closed for over six years, reopening in 2008.