Buffalo Bill Dam - Cody, Wyoming
Posted by: nomadwillie
N 44° 30.047 W 109° 11.264
12T E 644069 N 4929093
Quick Description: Built in 1905-1910, it was the tallest dam in the world when it was completed.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2011 9:42:15 AM
Waymark Code: WMD6XB
The Buffalo Bill Dam, known as the Shoshone Dam until 1946, was the first mass concrete dam in America. At nearly 325 feet high, it was also the tallest dam in the world at the time of completion.
This was one of the first arch dams in the U.S. to be designed using a mathematical method of analysis. For the Buffalo Bill Dam, consulting engineer Edgar Wheeler considered changing water surface elevations, variation in temperature and deflection issues. This allowed him to determine the distribution of loads both horizontally and vertically. This was the forerunner of the trial-load method of arch dam stress analysis which is the predecessor of today's computerized systems.
The dam is a gravity-arch concrete structure with a radius of 150 feet and a crest length of 200 feet. Twenty-five percent of the dam is composed of hand-placed rocks, weighing 25 to 200 pounds each.
1. Concrete was placed and cured despite below-zero temperatures, requiring steam fittings to carry heat to the construction site.
2. To excavate the dam abutments on the sheer walls of the canyon, workmen risked their lives, hanging from spider lines connected to cableway towers.
3. Manpower was limited on the sparsely populated frontier. Contractors and laborers had to be imported and trained.
4. Thousands of tons of materials had to be delivered to the site over the precipitous canyon road.
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Buffalo Bill Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Shoshone River in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The dam is named after the famous old West figure William "Buffalo Bill" Cody who founded the nearby town of Cody and who owned much of the land now covered by the reservoir formed by the dam, which also bears his name. The dam is part of the Shoshone Project, one of the first projects overseen by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Shoshone project is the successor to several visionary schemes promoted by Cody to irrigate the Bighorn Basin, turning it from a semi-arid sagebrush-covered plain to productive agricultural land. It was known at the time of its construction as Shoshone Dam, and was renamed in 1946 to honor Buffalo Bill Cody.
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