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LAKE TRAVIS. Lake Travis is a sixty-five-mile-long artificial lake on the Colorado River in southern Burnet and western Travis counties (its center point is 30°25' N, 98°00' W). In December 1936 the United States Department of the Interior authorized the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct a low dam at the site of an old crossing on the river known as Marshall Ford. Marshall Ford Dam was completed in July 1939. The present Mansfield Dam, a 7,098-foot-long concrete, earth, and rockfill structure that replaced the original dam, was completed in May 1942. Deliberate impoundment began in September 1940. The cost of the project was $28,709,948. The capacity of Lake Travis is 1,950,000 acre-feet, of which 778,000 acre-feet is reserved for flood control; the surface area of the lake is 18,930 acres. The power installation consists of three generating units with a rated capacity of 22,500 kilowatts, each with all the allied equipment for connecting to the transmission system. The drainage area above the dam is 38,130 square miles, of which 11,900 is probably noncontributing. Runoff is partly regulated by Lake Buchanan and other reservoirs upstream. The lake has become a major resort area that provides opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:C. L. Dowell, Dams and Reservoirs in Texas: History and Descriptive Information (Texas Water Commission Bulletin 6408 [Austin, 1964]). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Highland Lakes).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Seth D. Breeding, "Lake Travis," accessed March 21, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rol79.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.