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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/379

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375
THE NORTH PLATTE VALLEY

that we must look for assistance. The disinterested position and financial sufficiency of the government and the power it possesses to coordinate those portions of projects lying in different states render it peculiarly competent to undertake this work.

As a result of thorough preliminary investigations, a reservoir site for the storage of the waters of the North Platte was located near the mouth of the Sweetwater River in central Wyoming. The site is a natural basin, the enclosure having but one outlet, through which the river escapes by a granite gorge extending for a quarter of a mile through the hills. This canyon is approximately two hundred feet deep and one hundred feet wide, and presents an ideal site for a dam by which to convert the basin above into an immense storage reservoir, while the surrounding hills of fine-grained granite contain the materials for construction. The one unfavorable feature is the location of the dam site with reference to the railroads, the nearest point being forty-five miles distant. The thousands of barrels of cement and the contractor's heavy plant must be transported over this long stretch of earth road, materially increasing the cost of construction. Yet the natural fitness of the site is such that the cost of the dam and appurtenances relative to the body of water impounded is but one dollar per acre-foot stored.

The dam to be constructed at this point will be of the arch type, ninety-four feet thick at the base, two hundred and ten feet high and about two hundred and thirty feet long at the crest. The preliminary

PSM V70 D379 Nebraska land near bridgeport to be irrigated.png

View near Bridgeport, Nebraska, showing Topical Area of Land it is proposed to Irrigate.