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Construction on $52 million Bagnell Dam Project Begins in March
Image of Bagnell Dam, Courtesy Ameren Missouri
Bagnell Dam Construction
Image of Bagnell Dam construction, Courtesy Archives of Ameren Missouri
Construction on $52 million Bagnell Dam Project to Begin
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 15, 2017 - A major construction project is set to begin at Bagnell Dam and Osage Energy Center. Starting this spring, construction crews will begin a $52 million project installing a series of new anchors and concrete on the downstream side of the dam, which provides power to 42,000 homes.

"This project is about keeping this vital asset providing clean energy in the long-term, using the best possible engineering available today," said Warren Witt, director of hydro operations at Ameren Missouri. "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 major structural update at Bagnell Dam was completed in the early 1980s. At the time, 277 post-tensioned anchors were installed 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."

Over the past 10 years, Ameren has been a world-wide leader in developing best practices and spearheading initiatives to inspect the integrity of post-tension anchors, which Ameren engineers will now implement as part of this project. As a result of Ameren's innovative work, steps have been taken in several countries, including as far away as Australia, to enhance dam safety.

As part of its safety protocols, Bagnell Dam is inspected annually by an independent safety engineer.

The approximately 18-month project consists of three parts: new post-tension anchors will help hold the dam to the underlying bedrock; concrete will be added between the highway piers to add weight to the dam; and a new concrete overlay will replace worn and cracked concrete on the east and west sections.

"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."

The plan has been reviewed and certified by independent engineers as well as the federal government.

"In consideration of our customers and lake residents, construction is scheduled for weekdays," Witt said. In addition, there are no long-term road closures scheduled for the area. The work will have no effect on the energy generating capacity of Osage Energy Center.

"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."

Project by the numbers

68 new anchors
66,217,500 pounds of new concrete, which is equivalent to more than 5,500 Asian elephants.
600 billion gallons of water held back by the Bagnell Dam.

Bagnell History

In 1912, Ralph W. Street of Kansas City first proposed damming the Osage River to generate electricity. However, it wasn't until 1924 that Street and Walter Cravens, also of Kansas City, arranged financing and formed the Missouri Hydro-Electric Power Company.

The company began building roads, housing, an administration building, mess hall and other facilities needed to support construction of a dam near the tiny town of Bagnell. However, financial difficulties brought the project to a halt in 1926.

On July 27, 1929, Union Electric Company of St. Louis (now known as Ameren Missouri) purchased the facilities, and construction resumed on August 6. The New York Stock Exchange "crashed" two months later, bringing on the Great Depression, but work on the project continued. It became the only major construction project in the nation at the time, attracting thousands of workers from all over the country.

Records show more than 20,000 people worked on the project at one time or another. Although there were some steam shovels and other powered equipment, most labor was done by hand. Pay rates for construction workers were as low as 35 cents an hour. But during the Depression era, when a person could be hired for farm work for 50 cents a day, workers were glad to make the hourly wage.

The project was truly massive. Nearly 60,000 acres of land had to be acquired, and about 30,000 acres cleared of trees and brush. One million cubic yards of earth and rock had to be moved. Enough concrete was poured to build an 18-foot-wide highway from St. Louis to Topeka, Kansas. Enough carloads of material were used in the dam to fill a freight train stretching from St. Louis to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Construction was completed two years after work began. Commercial operation of the Osage Power Plant began October 16, 1931.

Consumers Warned About Storm-related Price Gouging
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 14, 2017 - Attorney General Josh Hawley has cautioned Missourians to be on the alert during the pending ice storm for storm-related price gouging.

Due to Winter Storm Jupiter, forecasters project that most of Missouri will be affected by severe weather, freezing rain and accumulating ice over the coming days.

"Unfortunately, there are always individuals who see a natural disaster as an opportunity for personal gain," Hawley said. "I encourage all Missourians to stay alert in the coming days for scams and for those who would take advantage of consumers when they are at their most vulnerable. And I remind those who would scam or defraud Missourians: this Office will bring you to justice."

Price gouging refers to artificially inflated prices on necessities after a disaster, natural or otherwise. Missouri law prohibits individuals and businesses from substantially raising their prices for the necessities of life during such an emergency.

The types of goods and services covered by the price gouging law include food and water, gasoline, hotel rooms, kerosene, gas powered generators, and other basic necessities. Those who violate the price gouging provisions can face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.

To report price gouging to the Attorney General's Office, submit a complaint form online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

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