The United States Army – Corps of Engineers (USACE) provides many services that benefit American infrastructure, including building and maintaining water and power resources. The Little Rock District of the USACE responsible for the management and upkeep of the Beaver Lake Area of Northwest Arkansas and has partnered with Romtec on several projects. These projects worked to replace aging facilities while providing new amenities to parks, campgrounds, and recreational areas that fell under the responsibility of this USACE District.
Beaver Lake is a prized recreation destination located high in the Ozark Mountains. It offers a diverse range of activities that everyone can enjoy. Romtec worked with the USACE at Beaver Lake on four separate occasions to supply a total of five buildings and structures for the public use areas they manage around the lake. Repeatedly, working in the Beaver Lake Area has demonstrated the care the USACE takes when providing public amenities at their recreational facilities.
A Brief History
In 1927, disaster struck Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, as well as several other areas located along the Mississippi River when the Great Mississippi Flood occurred. When this tragedy happened, there were few measures in place to prevent flood damage, let alone to prevent the large-scale flooding that took place. To prevent future disasters like this, the United States tasked the USACE with engineering and constructing multiple dams and levees through the Flood Control Acts starting in 1928. This started the longest levee system the world had ever seen, and many more projects would follow.
By 1954, another Flood Control Act was approved by Congress, and with it came authorization for the construction of the Beaver Dam. After years of planning, engineering, and preparation, construction began in 1960 and concluded in 1966. The dam effectively created Beaver Lake, and since its construction, the surrounding area has seen numerous benefits. Perhaps the most significant of these is flood prevention in the White River Basin. Since 1966, an estimated $52 billion dollars in flood damage has been prevented due to USACE dams and levees. The other primary functions of the dam are to provide a reliable source for clean water and a hydroelectric power source.
The USACE maintains and operates the Beaver Dam to fully utilize the abundant natural resources of the White River. Beaver Lake is the largest source of clean water in the state of Arkansas, with nearly 1 out of 7 (14%) residents receiving their water from the lake. It produces over 22 million gallons of potable water per day.
Another vital resource provided by the dam is a source for clean, renewable energy through hydroelectric power. The dam’s hydroelectric capabilities are only used as they are needed, but the plant can produce a maximum power capacity of 112 MW. Funds raised through selling the hydroelectric power are used to pay off the initial construction of the damn, which was originally paid for through federal funds.
Recreation & Preservation
Beaver Dam is the first impoundment along the White River in the higher elevations of the Ozark Mountains. The natural beauty of this area is one of Beaver Lake’s greatest assets. At the time of construction for the dam, the USACE was also charged with the stewardship of the land and maintaining its natural beauty through preservation and providing recreational opportunities. Thankfully, it also has the help of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, as well as several state, county, and local entities that help manage the 40,000-acres of land surrounding the lake.
The surface of the lake alone is over 28,000-acres with 487 miles of shoreline. Throughout the lake, an abundance of water activities are available including boating, scuba diving, water skiing, and of course a lot of fishing. Along the shoreline there are several rental stores and supply shops available to visitors. Water activities like these make up only half of the opportunities available at Beaver Lake.
Hobbyists that prefer land can enjoy a great deal of other activities. The area surrounding the lake was developed into 12 public use areas and over 2,000-acres of campgrounds. Campgrounds all provide access to electricity, clean drinking water, restrooms, and several have shower facilities too. Outside of these areas, there are hiking trails, caves to explore, plants & wildlife to spot, and even hunting opportunities.
The outdoor activities, cultural history, water resources, and more make up the Beaver Lake Area. There is something for every type of recreationalist to enjoy. The Little Rock District of the USACE has done an amazing job developing and maintaining this beautiful area. Romtec’s part in these services may be small, but we are always happy to supply our products in such a fine area.
(Numbers, Photos, & Information Used Here Gathered From USACE – Little Rock District Website)