LAKE OZARK, Mo. — Construction crews are working on putting the finishing touches on a more than $50 million upgrade to a historic dam that is a major source of hydropower in Missouri.
Ameren Missouri’s reliability upgrade to Bagnell Dam included installation of a series of new anchors and concrete on the downstream side of the dam. This was meant to improve overall safety, efficiency, and reliability of the 85-year-old structure.
“For nearly a century, the Bagnell Dam has reliably powered homes and businesses across the region,” said Warren Witt, director of hydro operations at Ameren Missouri. “These upgrades ensure the dam will continue to be a top producer of clean, renewable energy for Missouri’s communities for the next 100 years.”
The $53 million project is set to be completed ahead of schedule. Initial work began March 2017 and included the removal of timeworn concrete from the surface of the dam. Crews then installed 67 post-tensioned anchors, strengthening the connection to bedrock. More than 66 million pounds of new concrete was poured to further weigh down the dam. This is the first major structural update in more than 30 years.
Ameren Missouri hired Missouri-based MC Industrial, a McCarthy Holdings company, as the project’s on-site general contractor. Before starting the project, the construction plan was reviewed and certified by independent engineers as well as the federal government.
“The work our engineers perform to enhance the structural integrity of the Bagnell Dam continues to be viewed as a best practice and has been implemented on dams across the globe,” said Witt. “Closer to home, we know these recent improvements help drive local economic development. For example, during the first 16 months of the project more than 220 construction jobs were created for the local trades and vendors to the Osage area, translating to an estimated $40 million impact on the area through additional spending.”
Bagnell Dam houses Ameren Missouri’s Osage Energy Center. In 2017 it produced more than 624,000 megawatt-hours of energy, supplying approximately 52,000 homes with renewable energy for the entire year.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.