Kortes Dam

Located about two miles downstream of the Seminoe Dam lies the Kortes Dam. This site was originally scouted for the Kendrick Project; however, it instead became the first unit of the Pick-Sloan Project in 1946. The Bureau of reclamation and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers carried out this project. Like the Kendrick Project, the goal was to generate hydropower in the west and contribute to expanding irrigation.

Construction of the dam began in May of 1946. Due to setbacks in 1949, the construction took an extra two years costing an additional 1.3 million. According to historical records, over 117 injuries occurred costing countless man-hours. Two workers died during construction.

In 1950 (a year before the dam was officially complete), the Kortes sprang into action to supply electricity due to a regional shortage of power. The dam used temporary links to supply power to the grid.

At 244 feet high and holding 4,700 acre-feet of water, the Kortes Dam was finally completed on November 8, 1951. The power plant has the capacity to generate 36,000 kilowatts of energy.

This article is provided through our partnership with the Wyoming State Historical Society.

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