US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center

Francis E. Walter Dam

White Haven, PA

Published Dec. 20, 2012
The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.

Project Index Map for Francis E. Walter Dam

Project Index Map for Francis E. Walter Dam

The primary purpose of the Francis E. Walter Dam is flood control. Recreation is a secondary mission as whitewater and fishery releases are planned every year.

The primary purpose of the Francis E. Walter Dam is flood control. Recreation is a secondary mission as whitewater and fishery releases are planned every year.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: PA-8, 9

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Flood Damage Reduction

LOCATION: Confluence of Bear Creek and Lehigh River

DESCRIPTION: The project provides for multi-purpose development for water supply, recreation and flood control. The existing dam, completed under the 1946 Flood Control Act as a single purpose flood control project, is located on the Lehigh River, five miles above White Haven, Pa.  The project is also authorized to provide for recreational benefits. This project has prevented over $223M in cumulative damages between 1961 and 2018. Whitewater and fishing industries utilize dam releases and there is significant interest from the public, stakeholders and elected officials in these programs. Project lake operations continue to have a positive impact on the regional economy as well as producing environmental benefits.

STATUS: Whitewater and fishing industries utilize dam releases and there is significant interest from the public, stakeholders and elected officials in these programs. Project lake operations continue to have a positive impact on the regional economy as well as producing environmental benefits.​

Stakeholders expressed interest in optimizing project operation and storage at the reservoir. In FY 15, the District completed and Division approved a Federal Interest Determination that there is a need to conduct formal investigations to examine the feasibility of changing the congressionally authorized operation and/or making modifications to the existing dam at Francis E. Walter Reservoir to better meet present and future flood control objectives, in-lake and downstream recreational use, water quality, water supply, and environmental sustainability demands. Initial funding was provided in FY19 to initiate a study and develop a cost-share agreement with a non-federal sponsor.

PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project provides for improvements including  altering the spillway, increasing the height of the dam, extending the outlet tunnel, constructing new dikes and raising the height of existing dikes.

PROJECT MANAGER: Monica A. Chasten