Elbert Lowdermilk

Elbert Lowdermilk owned and operated the construction company that connected the Los Alamos laboratory to the rest of the country throughout World War II.

Elbert, Hoyle, and Zimmie Lowdermilk founded The Lowdermilk Brothers Construction Company in 1930. During World War II, it was contracted out by the U.S. government to build the roads and utility lines around the Los Alamos laboratory for the Manhattan Project. Elbert Lowdermilk oversaw the company’s work at this time. Under his management, the company paved the first road to the Los Alamos site in 1943, and successfully delivered the weighty “atom smasher” to the laboratory. Lowdermilk’s company played an integral role in connecting Los Alamos to the larger Manhattan Project and stocking the site with the necessary supplies and equipment.

While Hoyle and Zimmie traveled between Española, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado, Elbert largely stayed in Española with his family. His daughter, Elberta, spoke of her experience in 2009 regarding her father and his involvement in the Manhattan Project.

Elbert and his brother Hoyle formed a partnership, H-E Lowdermilk Co. in 1957, and continued earthmoving, mountain pass, and highway projects throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Their company was responsible for significant portions of the I-70 highway.

Elbert Lowdermilk died on October 23, 1988. He was 91.

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