Historic American Engineering Record: Archaeological Survey and Evaluation of Structural Components of the Roosevelt Power Canal

Author(s): James E. Ayers

Year: 1983


During December 1982 and January 1983, representatives of the Environmental Services and Civil Engineering Departments of Salt River Project consulted with Archaeological Research Services, Inc. (ARS) regarding the status of archaeological and historical information pertaining to the Roosevelt Power Canal, a historic canal associated with Theodore Roosevelt Dam. As part of a Central Arizona Water Control Study sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Archaeological Research Services, Inc. (ARS) field-inventoried and evaluated a number of canal features or components (for example, siphons, bridges, culverts) in terms of National Register of Historic Places eligibility criteria. ARS concluded that the Power Canal was an integral part of a proposed Roosevelt Archaeological and Historic National Register District. ARS prepared and submitted documentation supporting this conclusion, in the form of a National Register of Historic Places nomination, to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Shortly after the completion of the evaluation work, Salt River Project authorized an archaeological survey of the Roosevelt Power Canal and its components, due to public safety concerns. The survey goals were to identify, record, and evaluate all canal components from the perspective of potential public hazards. In April, 1983, Archaeological Research Services, Inc. was retained by Salt River Project to undertake this study, which involved historical documentary research, an on-site survey of the 19.23 mile long structure, and the preparation of a final report.

This report discusses the results of ARS' archaeological survey of the Roosevelt Power Canal and canal infrastructure and features. It describes the the canal, its history and associated features. The Power Canal was constructed in 1904-1906 as a source of water for the production of hydroelectric power at the proposed site of Roosevelt Dam. The canal, which consists of 182 separate components over its 19.23 mile length, begins at a diversion dam on the Salt River just below the State Highway 288 bridge and follows the southwest side of Roosevelt Lake

This report facilitated the preparation of a Historic American Buildings Survey-Historic American Engineering Record (HABS-HAER) document for the Roosevelt Power Canal (see https://core.tdar.org/document/393118) . Based on the archaeological survey, ARS researchers outlined a series of measures to preserve the historical, architectural, and engineering values of the Power Canal, while minimizing or eliminating any public safety hazards. Those canal features that were likely to be substantially impacted by these measures were recorded and treated in the HAER documentation.

Cite this Record

Historic American Engineering Record: Archaeological Survey and Evaluation of Structural Components of the Roosevelt Power Canal. James E. Ayers. Historic American Engineering Record No. ,AZ-4A. Tempe, Arizona: Archaeological Research Services, Inc. 1983 ( tDAR id: 393119) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8R49RWZ

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1902 to 1904 (feasibility assessment and survey of Roosevelt Power Canal)

Calendar Date: 1904 to 1906 (initial construction of Roosevelt Power Cana)

Calendar Date: 1906 to 1952 (use history and operation of Roosevelt Power Canal)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.163; min lat: 33.618 ; max long: -110.947; max lat: 33.676 ;

Record Identifiers

Historic American Engineering Record No.(s): AZ-4a

NADB document id number(s): 1000066

NADB citation id number(s): 000000012068


Redaction Note: Sensitive information has been removed from the publicly accessible digital copy of this report. The following figures (and pages) have been redacted: Figure 10 (pg 36), Figure 17 (pg 46), Figure 20 (pg 49), Figure 24 (pg 53), Figure 27 (pg 56). Please contact the archaeologist at the USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office to obtain a complete digital copy of the report.

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