In December 1936 the United States Department of the Interior authorized the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct a low dam at the site of an old crossing on the river known as Marshall Ford. Marshall Ford Dam was completed in 1941 through the collaboration of the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) of Texas. The original purpose of the dam was to prevent floods from devastating Austin, TX. The capital city had substandard heavy damage from previous floods since its establishment in 1846. Soon bureaucrats came together to create the Colorado River Project, wanting to create a series of dams along the Colorado River to create hydroelectric power and serve to control floods and droughts. With Buchanan dam well under way with a total of six planned Marshall Ford was the only dam designed primarily for flood control and the only dam in which USBR oversaw construction. With money scarce there was debate over the final height dam and it reservoir capacity. This issue resolves itself with the flood of 1938. Once completed Marshall Ford Dam would flood 65 miles of the Colorado to form Lake Travis, creating the largest of the seven reservoirs known as the Highland Lakes.
Marshall Ford Dam is a dam located across a canyon at Marshall Ford on the Colorado River, 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Austin, Texas. The Corps of Engineers still refers to the structure as Marshall Ford Dam. It was renamed in 1941 for U.S. Rep. J.J. Mansfield, who assisted in the project's development. Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis are the only structures in the Highland Lakes chain specifically designed to contain floodwaters in the lower Colorado River basin. Even though LCRA owns the dam and controls the ...
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...rsity Press, 1990.
United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, 1992 Summary Statistics
Denver; Government Printing Office 1992.
David C. Humphrey, "AUSTIN, TX (TRAVIS COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hda03), accessed November 30, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
"BROWN, HERMAN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbr86), accessed November 30, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Seth D. Breeding, "LAKE TRAVIS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rol79), accessed November 29, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
“Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis.” LCRA. November 30, 2013. Accessed November 30, 2013. http://www.lcra.org/water/dams/mansfield.html.
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