Detroit Dam is located at river mile 49 on the North Santiam River, about 45 miles southeast of Salem, Ore.
Detroit Dam is a concrete dam with gated spillways. It was completed in 1953 with Big Cliff Dam, located just downstream, at a cost of $62.7 million. Detroit Dam has two hydropower generating units which were put into service in 1953, capable of producing 50 megawatts each.
Detroit Dam works together with Big Cliff Dam to provide flood risk management. Detroit’s other authorized primary purposes also include hydropower, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation.