ST. LOUIS, Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 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
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities including the greater St. Louis area. For more information please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow AmerenMissouri on Facebook or Twitter.
SOURCE Ameren Missouri