LAKE OZARK, Mo. — The Bagnell Dam is set to undergo major construction this spring as part of a new $52 million project by Ameren Missouri.
The Bagnell Dam and Osage Energy Center will install 68 new anchors and concrete on the downstream side of the dam.
“This project is about keeping this vital asset providing clean energy in the long-term, using the best possible engineering available today,” Warren Witt, director of hydro operations at Ameren Missouri, said in a statement. “Osage Energy Center just marked its 85th year in service. Work we’re starting in March will ensure it operates reliably and safely, affording the quality of life for hundreds of thousands who enjoy all that the Lake of the Ozarks has to offer each year.”
The last time a structural update of this magnitude occurred was in the early 1980’s when 277 post-tensioned anchors were put in place to hold the dam into the bedrock.
“These post-tension anchors were the best technology at the time,” Witt said. “They have performed very well since they’ve been installed and the dam remains structurally sound.”
The proposed plan looks to add more of those anchors, add concrete between the highway piers to add weight to the dam, and replace the worn and cracked concrete on the east and west sections with a new concrete overlay.
“Adding more than 66 million pounds of new concrete along with the new anchors pulls the dam down toward bedrock, which is what holds back the incredible force and pressure of nearly 100 feet of water,” Witt said. “Combining these new anchors and additional concrete achieves the best result in the most cost-effective way possible.”
Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark, says he’s glad to see Ameren investing in the Bagnell Dam, which provides clean energy to 42,000 homes every year, all while holding back 600 billion gallons of water.
“I’m glad to see that they are maintaining this very important clean and renewable energy source,” Miller said. “My great-grandfather was a laborer on the original project, and I’m excited to see the most extensive update to this facility.”
“Osage Energy Center delivers reliable, clean energy that our customers depend on to power their lives every day,” Witt said. “The investment in clean energy produced here is part of Ameren’s commitment to deliver more of our power from cleaner resources.”
The plan, which has been reviewed and certified by both independent engineers and the federal government, is expected to take about 18 months.
Witt says the construction is scheduled for weekdays, and in consideration of the residents, there are no long-term road closures scheduled for the area.
Ameren says the work will have no effect on the energy-generating capacity of Osage Energy Center.
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.