Building the Dam
After a well attended ground breaking ceremony; on an overcast day in June of 1946, with speeches by state and federal officials, construction was ready to begin.
By 1948, construction on the town was in full swing. A contractor’s crew with heavy
equipment began to remove material from the site of the dam’s powerhouse,
approach channel and outlet works and to place it in the embankment.
Great Marion diesel/electric shovels scooped out 13 cubic yards a bite from the borrow areas. The shovel filled each of the 44-cubic yard capacity trucks used on the site with just 3-4 such bites.
The trucks dumped the earth on the embankment, and other equipment graded it
down and sprinkled it with water. The sprinkling permitted the soil to be compacted to the desired density. Great sheep's foot rollers ran back and forth over the fill compressing it.
A lighting system allowed the work to proceed at night through two 10-hour shifts,
six days a week. At the height of construction almost 5,000 people worked on the dam.
Marion diesel/electric shovels worked 24/7
Heavy duty equipment moved massive amounts of earth.