The Shasta Gate

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Initially, the state of California intended to finance the project entirely on its own through the sale of revenue bonds. The project was approved in the state legislature by a slim margin, mostly riding on Central and Northern California voters, who needed both the jobs and the water. Southern California generally opposed the project because they needed money to build an aqueduct to the Colorado River , from which the state had previously secured rights. The construction works at Shasta Dam and other parts of the project would provide thousands of much-needed jobs, contributing a major portion of the Depression era federal job-creation programs.

Army Corps of Engineers for building the project, but ultimately transferred it to the Reclamation Service, the precursor to the Bureau of Reclamation , which had expertise in building large concrete dams as demonstrated in the Hoover Dam Boulder Canyon Project several years earlier. The groundbreaking and official naming ceremony of Shasta Dam occurred on September 12, in the small town of Kennett shortly upstream of the dam. The dam was initially known as Kennett Dam, but was eventually named after nearby Mount Shasta.

Construction started with the excavation of millions of tons of bedrock from the canyon walls adjacent to the construction site, forming keyways for the dam foundations. Highway 99 current Interstate 5 were rerouted to the east over the steel truss Pit River Bridge , which remains the tallest combined road and rail bridge in the world. Reclamation originally planned to set up the construction headquarters in Redding, but ultimately decided to move it closer to the dam site. The new company town , Toyon, was laid out on a farm purchased from Porter Seaman in Toyon served purely to provide housing for Reclamation personnel, government offices, and storage; no stores or restaurants were permitted within its boundaries.

Instead of the tents and shacks typical of construction workers' camps, the town was characterized by comfortable multi-room wooden houses. The company built a 2,man mess hall, hospital, recreation center and other amenities at the dam site. Three other makeshift camps nearby, called "Central Valley", "Project City", and "Summit City", soon filled with unemployed men from all over the state hoping to get jobs at Shasta Dam. In November , construction started on a diversion channel that would shunt water to the east left side of the river so the foundations could be laid on the west side.

The left bank of the river was widened and deepened using explosives, and a cofferdam was built to dry up the bypassed section.

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This was capable of transporting 1, tons of material per hour, and over the entire construction process, hauled more than 12 million tons of rock. The remaining three were downhill and did not require power; in fact they were retrofitted to generate power for some of the other sections. As the foundations were completed, concrete placement of the main dam body could begin. For this purpose, a system of steel cable towers was erected to carry the steel concrete-pouring buckets.

On occasion, the lake level can drop low enough to expose it again. Building of the dam's main concrete structure started in July after the cable systems had been completed and the mixing plant came on line. Steel buckets capable of carrying 8 cubic yards 6. These blocks were shaped using wooden forms, which were removed when the concrete dried and rebuilt to handle the next block above it.

[UPDATE Friday] Evacuations Underway as Fast-Growing Fire Threatens Structures Northeast of Redding

The concrete was "vibrated" into place using specialized equipment, filling in any accidental cavities and bubbles to ensure maximum density and strength. After the concrete dried, the surface was cleaned and smoothed by sandblasting. With thousands of men enlisting in the armed forces, the Shasta Dam site soon had a severe labor shortage. During the war years, many of the people who worked at the dam were women and high school students on mostly "non-hazardous jobs".

With the tunnel cleared, it was resurfaced and modified to accommodate the force of a river instead of a railroad. Until this time, the Sacramento had still been flowing through the middle of the dam site, between the two nearly completed abutments of the dam. The spillways with their 18 high-pressure river outlet valves and massive triple drum gates were completed in the summer of By then, a total of 15 million tons of concrete had been used in the dam's construction, comprising the 16, foot blocks.

Water storage at the Shasta Dam began in February when the diversion tunnel was sealed. As the lake rose behind it, the dam was completed to its final shape and the last bucket of concrete was poured on January 2, During this time, the Shasta Dam powerplant, with a capacity of MW, was also under construction. Five steel penstocks, each 15 feet 4. When Shasta was completed, it was the second highest dam in the world — surpassed only by Hoover Dam on the Colorado — as well as the highest man-made structure in California. It was also the second most massive concrete dam measured by volume, exceeded only by Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington.

An anonymous workman reportedly said, "Old Shasta's about the secondest dam there is. That dam will stand there forever holding back the river. And that powerhouse will keep right on turning out juice until somebody discovers how to make power out of sunlight. Shasta Dam serves mainly to provide flood control and carryover water storage for the dry season, contributing greatly to irrigation in the Sacramento Valley and navigation on the Sacramento River, as well as keeping freshwater levels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta high enough for diversion into the California Aqueduct and Delta-Mendota Canal.

The dam's other major purpose is to generate hydroelectricity. Two smaller turbines generate power for operations at the dam itself. The plant serves to generate peaking power for the northern Sacramento Valley. These valves are arranged in three levels, each cutting through the main dam structure and discharging onto the face of the spillway. The upper level has six outlets, each with a capacity of 6, cubic feet per second When the reservoir is full, the gates cannot entirely prevent leakage but can raise the water level up to 28 feet 8.

The lake extends for In the s, with skyrocketing water shortages in the Central Valley and some of California's largest agricultural coalitions including the Westlands Water District calling for a more dependable water supply, the Bureau of Reclamation suggested the expansion of Shasta Dam. Reclamation has suggested three options for the dam raise, ranging from less than 20 feet 6. Both the intermediate and high options would require saddle dams constructed at key points along the lake to keep it from overflowing.

The intermediate and high dam raises would allow for increased generation of hydropower. Each would require the construction of a new powerhouse to accommodate five new turbines; for the intermediate expansion, five MW generators would be added for a total capacity of 1, MW, while for the high one, there would be five new MW units for a maximum capacity of 1, MW. Downstream Keswick Dam would also be raised and its power station retrofitted to accommodate the greater peaking releases from Shasta. The proposed dam raise has met with significant backlash from area inhabitants, fishermen, Native Americans, recreationalists and environmentalists.

First of all, with any increase to the dam's height, significant reaches of the Pit, Sacramento, and McCloud Rivers would be inundated. Forest Service information about Shasta Lake List of businesses members Tourist info and maps are available at this location.


It's about 10 miles south of Redding, California on Interstate Highway 5 i Take the Deschutes Rd. The center is located on the west side of Interstate 5. The California Welcome Center and the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association are in the same building and are located at the south end of the factory outlet stores in Anderson, California. On your way to this visitor center be very careful to drive slow through the factory outlet stores parking lot.

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This parking lot is thick with pedestrians and they may step off the sidewalk without looking. Make a right turn north at the end of the off-ramp and follow the signs. This is in the same general area as the Sundial Bridge. Direction info at VisitRedding. Shasta stands a majestic 14, feet and is located about 50 miles north of Shasta Dam.

Shasta Dam is approximately 10 miles north of Redding, California via Interstate 5. Take the Shasta Dam Blvd. At the intersection of Shasta Dam Blvd. Follow this road up and over the hill to the lake and dam. Or you can continue on straight through the intersection after stopping and take Scenic Route to the Shasta Dam Vista point. All are portrayed in a colorful, over-the-top narrative that puts the reader on wheels or hooves if, like Catherine, you prefer horses to Harleys for a thrilling page turner of a ride to the novels provocative climax.

A fascinating element of the book are the myths and legends surrounding Mt. Shasta, the majestic extinct or, in view of the story, inactive volcano in northern California where Catherines wealthy but remote father owns the Arabian horse ranch that is her refuge. Ram, the ranchs overseer, is mentor a sort of native American guru to the spoiled but appealing young woman and encourages her to listen for the lessons the mountain has to teach her.

Enter Eugene, an update of the loner-seeker type, drawn to the legendary mountain, who runs into Catherinealmost literallywith a malevolent biker gang on his trail.

Shasta Lake Visitor Information Center -

Action, suspense and lyrical scenes of youthful discovery and lovemaking are interwoven in the narrative with a spiritual dimension sure to intrigue readers hungry for philosophical speculation. Indeed the spectacular western landscape in which events unfold is as remarkable for its metaphysical ambience as for the beauty and verisimilitude of its descriptive imagery. Although its an excellent example of new age fiction, "The Shasta Gate" possesses the timeless qualities of good story-telling from any era: strong, original characters who pull us into their lives for an unforgettable literary experience.

Shasta gate of New Lemuria-Welcoming chant

Also a screenwriter and playwright, Croy has given us a visionary novel worthy of its millennial aspirations. For an author bio and photo, reviews and a reading sample, visit bosonbooks. Get A Copy.

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