Oahe Speedway

Dam Fast Track

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What is Oahe?

Pronounced like Oahu with an “e”…Oahe…”O-ah-ee”

The Oahe Dam takes its name from the Oahe Indian Mission established among the  Lakota Sioux Indians in 1874.  The word “Oahe” roughly translated means  “a foundation” or “a place to stand on”.

The Oahe Dam, located 4 miles north of Pierre, is a vital dam on the Missouri River.  It stretches 1.8 miles across the river and is 245 feet high.The dam serves many purposes, including hydroelectric power, flood control, improvement of navigation, and irrigation.

Construction for the Oahe Dam began in 1948 by the Corps of Engineers and was completed in 1962 when it began generating power.

Lake Oahe, the reservoir created by the Oahe Dam, stretches 250 miles upstream to Bismarck, North Dakota.  It is the fourth largest man-made reservoir in the United States and has 2,250 miles shoreline, which is more than the coast of California.

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