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Big Bend Dam
USACE Fort Thompson Big Bend Dam.jpg
Big Bend Dam on the Missouri River, with Lake Sharpe in the background.
Big Bend Dam is located in South Dakota
Big Bend Dam
Location of Big Bend Dam in the State of South Dakota.
Official name Big Dam
Country United States
Location Buffalo/Lyman Counties, South Dakota.
Coordinates 44°02′58″N 99°26′55″W / 44.049473°N 99.448586°W / 44.049473; -99.448586
Status Operational
Construction began 1959; 64 years ago (1959)
Opening date 1963; 60 years ago (1963)
Construction cost $107 million
Owner(s) United States Army Corps of Engineers logo.svg U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment, Rolled-earth shale fill & chalk fill
Impounds Missouri River
Height 95 ft (29 m)
Length 10,570 ft (3,222 m) (including spillway)
Elevation at crest 1,423 feet msl
Width (base) 1,200 ft (366 m)
Dam volume 17,000,000 cu yd (12,997,433 m3)
Spillways 8 - 40-foot x 38-foot tainter gates
Spillway type controlled (gated)
Spillway capacity 270,000 cfs at 1,423 feet msl
Creates Lake Sharpe
Total capacity 1,798,000 acre⋅ft (2.217800344×109 m3)
Catchment area 5,840 sq mi (15,126 km2)
Surface area 56,884 acres (23,020 ha)
Maximum length 80 mi (129 km)
Maximum water depth 78 ft (24 m)
Normal elevation 1,420-1,423 feet msl
Power station
Operator(s) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Commission date October 1964
Turbines 8 Fixed blade, 81.8 rpm
Installed capacity 494,320 Kw
Annual generation 969 million kilowatt hours
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Big Bend Dam / Lake Sharpe
Lake Sharpe Big Bend
Lake Sharpe with visible Big Bend Dam from space, August 1989. View is to the east-southeast.

Big Bend Dam is a major embankment rolled-earth dam on the Missouri River in Central South Dakota, United States, creating Lake Sharpe. The dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Pick-Sloan Plan for Missouri watershed development authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. Construction began in 1959 and the embankment was completed in July 1963. Power generation began at the facility in 1964 and the entire complex was completed in 1966 at a total cost of $107 million. The hydroelectric plant generates 493,300 kilowatts of electricity at maximum capacity, with an annual production of 969 million kilowatt hours, and meets peak-hour demand for power within the Missouri River Basin.

Located near Fort Thompson, South Dakota, just south of the Big Bend of the Missouri River, a large meander, Big Bend Dam creates Lake Sharpe, named after South Dakota Governor Merrill Q. Sharpe. The lake extends for 80 miles (130 km) up the course of the Missouri River passing through Pierre, the State Capitol, to Oahe Dam, another major power-generating and flood control dam. Lake Sharpe covers a total of 56,884 acres (23,020 ha) and drains an area just under 250,000 square miles (650,000 km2).

South Dakota Highway 47 crosses over the dam, connecting Lyman and Buffalo Counties. Big Bend Dam is located approximately 17 miles (27 km) north of I-90, and approximately 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Pierre.

The next dam upstream is Oahe Dam, near Pierre, and the next dam downstream is Fort Randall Dam, near Pickstown.

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