Skip to main content

Salt River Project from the air

Flying out of Sky Harbor International Airport this past weekend provided me a window view of the entirety of the Salt River Project east of Phoenix.






The Salt River Project is a series of reservoirs built along the Salt River in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.  The Salt River Project dates back to the early 20th Century when the 1902 National Reclamation Act was passed.  The Salt River Project was one of five reclamation projects awarded in 1903.  The purpose of the Salt River Project was to stem the irregular droughts and floods of the Salt River, provide water for agricultural use and hydroelectricity.

The first dam to be built along the Salt River was Roosevelt Dam which began construction in 1904 and was completed in 1911.  The Roosevelt Dam portion of the Salt River Project is what spurred highway development along what is now Arizona State Route 88 on the Apache Trail.  More regarding AZ 88 and Roosevelt Dam can be found at these previous blog posts.

Bridge Monday; Roosevelt Lake Bridge and Roosevelt Bridge

Throwback Thursday; Arizona State Route 88 the Apache Trail 

The second reservoir in the Salt River Project was Canyon Lake located west of Apache Lake near Tortilla Flat.  Canyon Lake is impounded by Mormon Flat Dam which was built between 1923 to 1925.  Mormon Flat Dam is arch concrete dam that is 224 feet high.   

The third reservoir in the Salt River Project was Apache Lake immediately west of Roosevelt Dam.  Apache Lake is impounded by Horse Mesa Dam which is a 300 foot high arch concrete structure built between 1924 and 1927.

The fourth and final reservoir in the Salt River Project is Saguaro Lake which lies west of Apache Lake.  Saguaro Lake is impounded by Stewart Mountain Dam which was built between 1928 to 1930.  Stewart Mountain Dam is only 207 feet high but is the widest dam in the Salt River Project at 1,260 feet.

Flying over the Salt River Project eastbound Saguaro Lake is the first seen.  Below Stewart Mountain Dam can be seen on the left of the photo.


East of Saguaro Lake is Canyon Lake.  In the photo below Canyon Lake Marina Can be seen along with the 1925 one-lane Mormon Flat Bridge on AZ 88. 


Canyon Lake flows through the canyon lands of the Superstition Mountains eastwards towards Apache Lake.


Followed by Apache Lake itself. 


East of Apache Lake the waters of Roosevelt Lake were partially obscured by clouds. 


Towards the eastern end of Roosevelt Lake the Salt River is apparent along with AZ 288/Young Highway. 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interstate 238; the Interstate numbering abomination carved out of an otherwise mundane State Highway

How does one make an otherwise unremarkable stretch of State Highway the absolute bane of the road community?  Make a small portion of said State Highway into a Interstate Highway but one that retains it's completely out of grid State Highway number.  One such route does exist; California State Route 238 and it's better known segment Interstate 238.


CA 238/I-238 (I'll be referring to this highway frequently as Highway 238 for simplicity) including a relinquished segment in Hayward is a 16 mile "highway" starting at I-680 in Fremont which heads northwest to I-880 in San Leandro.  Only an approximately 2.1 mile segment of Highway 238 between I-580 and I-880 is part of the Interstate system.

The numbering oddity behind I-238 stems from the fact that California Legislatively does not allow numbering duplication.  In the eyes of the Legislature there is no difference between a State Highway, US Route and Interstate Highway.  That being the said all highways maintained…

Interstate 380

This past weekend I drove over twenty Californian highways with a good chunk of them being around the San Francisco Bay Area.   The first highway I attempted was Interstate 380 from San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.


I-380 is an approximately 1.7 mile freeway connecting from US 101 at San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.  The entire routing of I-380 is within San Mateo County and despite it's small size was conceived as a much larger route.

According to CAhighways.org the path of I-380 was first conceived as Legislative Route Number 229 in 1947 between US 101 Bypass west to US 101 in San Bruno.

CAhighways.org on LRN 229

LRN 229 was extended to CA 1 Pacifica in 1959 by the Legislature.  While LRN 229 in it's original form was too small display on State Highway Maps it does appear in full scope by the 1960 addition.

1960 State Highway Map

During the 1964 State Highway renumbering LRN 229 was reassigned as LRN 186 which is reflective on the State Hig…

The Cemetery inside the Interstate 85 Median

Near Gaffney, South Carolina between exits 95 and 96, Interstate 85 separates to allow for a wider median.  The reason - a small family cemetery that dates to the mid-1800s.  The Lipscomb-Sarratt or  Ross-Lipscomb cemetery is an example of the numerous small family burial plots that were found within many rural farms and plantations throughout the South during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The cemetery consists of at least 13 gravestones with six that still have legible markings.  Most of those buried passed away between 1850-1880.   The cemetery is also one of the oldest in Cherokee County.



How the cemetery came to exist in the middle of an increasingly busy Interstate 85 is an interesting story.  In the early 1950s, South Carolina moved US 29 onto a newly built a two lane express highway from the North Carolina State Line near Grover to northwest of Spartanburg.  At the time, the cemetery sat just to the new highway's south.  What is now the Southbound lanes of Interstate 85 car…