A History of the Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga

An Overview of Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga

Chickamauga Dam is a concrete gravity-type dam located on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Completed in 1940, the dam was constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Approximately 9.67 miles long and 107 feet tall, Chickamauga Dam is the ninth largest of all the TVA dams on the Tennessee River. This dam helps to generate over 455 million kilowatts of electricity per year, and also works to control downstream flooding, providing water storage and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors of the Chattanooga area.

History of Chickamauga Dam

Chickamauga Dam was authorized for construction in 1933, as part of the TVA’s efforts to provide power, flood control, and economic benefits to the region. Construction on the dam began 3 years later, in 1936, and completed in 1940. The dam was named after the nearby Chickamauga Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee River that empties into it 30 miles downstream.

The TVA continued to make modifications to the dam to increase its efficiency and ability to generate energy. In the 1940s and 1950s, two additional turbines were added, and by the 1960s the dam was operating at its full capacity of 455 million kilowatts of electricity.

Benefits of Chickamauga Dam

Chickamauga Dam has had numerous positive impacts on Chattanooga. Its presence has helped to:

  • Create jobs – construction of the dam and its subsequent modifications provided jobs to local residents.
  • Reduce downstream flooding – the dam stores excess water and releases it at a controlled rate to reduce the risk of flooding.

The dam also has provided a number of recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, camping and wildlife watching. In addition, it has allowed the TVA to provide reliable, low-cost electricity to the Chattanooga area, helping to fuel its economic growth.


Constructed to help control flooding and generate electricity, Chickamauga Dam is an important part of Chattanooga’s infrastructure. The dam has provided numerous benefits to the city, including creating jobs, reducing the risk of flooding, and providing recreational opportunities. As a result, Chickamauga Dam has been an essential part of Chattanooga’s development and growth for over 80 years.