Theodore Roosevelt Dam

Theodore Roosevelt Dam was originally constructed between 1905 and 1911 to control the erratic flow of the Salt River and to harness the water for irrigation. The dam turned the Arizona desert into land that could be farmed.


Once the world's tallest masonry dam, this structure is named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who was instrumental in approval of the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902, and who dedicated the original dam in March 1911.

Theodore Roosevelt Dam is unique in the way it was originally constructed. It was the world's largest "cyclopean-masonry" dam, a Greco-Roman style of building that uses huge, irregular blocks. It is now covered by new concrete.


In 1996 a $430 million modification project was completed that raised the height of the dam to 357 feet and expanded the lake's storage capacity by 20 percent -- enough for 1 million more people. This 77-foot increase offers six Valley cities 304,729 new acre-feet of water storage to the dam and, for the first time, provides SRP with substantial amounts of flood control and Safety of Dams storage space. The dam has hydrogeneration capacity of 36,000 kW.

Did you know?

  • Renovations at Theodore Roosevelt Dam used 444,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to pave a two-lane road from Phoenix to Tucson.
  • The quantity of reinforcing steel used in the dam's renovation -- 6.7 million pounds -- would be 849 miles long if placed end to end. This is the distance from Phoenix to Denver.

Roosevelt Lake

Theodore Roosevelt Dam forms Roosevelt Lake. Below are some lake statistics:

  • Length: 22.4 miles
  • Shoreline: 128 miles
  • Capacity: 1,653,043 acre-feet
  • Surface acreage when full: 21,493 acres
  • Maximum depth: 188 feet

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