Thursday, November 10, 2016

16 Fun Facts About Bagnell Dam

Without the construction of Bagnell Dam, which created the Lake of the Ozarks, we wouldn't have the need for our boat lift company at the Lake of the Ozarks. Since the dam plays a huge roll in our business, we thought providing a few fun facts about the dam in today's blog would be appropriate. Let's see how much of this information you already know - and maybe you'll learn something new about this beautiful Lake that we call home.

Bagnell Dam Fun Facts

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1. The concept of Bagnell Dam dates to 1912, when Kansas City entrepreneur Ralph Street created a plan for a 60 ft. hydroelectric dam. After building support structures, roadways and railroad tracks, financial difficulties brought his venture to a close in 1926.

2. One year after Ralph Streets' venture ended, Union Electric (now AmerenUE) and Stone & Webster revitalized the project and expanded it to its present-day parameters.

3. Construction on Bagnell Dam started on August 6, 1929 and was completed in April, 1931.

4. The construction of Bagnell Dam created the Lake of the Ozarks, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the world and the largest in the United States at that time. 

5.  During construction of Bagnell Dam, the Lake of the Ozarks was referred to as the Osage Reservoir or Lake Osage.

6. The total cost of the Bagnell Dam project was $30 million. Today, the same project would cost around $360 million.

7. Bagnell Dam is classified as a concrete gravity dam. That means that the weight of the structure is enough to overcome the lateral force of the water pressing against it.

8. The Bagnell Dam is 2,543 feet long and consists of three sections: the abutment section, the spillway section and the headworks or powerhouse.

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9. The powerhouse consists of eight water-wheel turbines directly connected to eight electrical generators, plus one smaller station service unit. Originally only 6 of the generators were installed; the other two were added in 1953.

10. When the turbines are not in use, each of the openings is sealed by a headgate that measures 27 square feet and weighs 70 tons.

11. Under maximum head of ninety feet, the turbines revolve at 112-1/2 r.p.m. with a force equal to 33,500 horsepower each.

12. The generators were designed to produce a maximum of 21,500 kilowatts each.

13.  The overall dam structure was poured in 40-foot wide blocks that are designed to slide in the event of a breach. This prevents a total collapse from happening, and only one or two sections would move back while the remainder of the dam would stay solid and undamaged.

14. In the 1980s, holes were drilled down through the dam and tensioning rods were driven through those holes and into the bedrock below. The dam is actually more solid now than when it was built.

15. The highway deck of the dam is approximately 10 feet above full reservoir.

16. Although originally built to provide hydroelectric power, Bagnell Dam and the Lake of the Ozarks soon became a significant tourist destination for the Midwest.

Summerset Boat Lifts 

Since 1982, we've been lifting your dreams from canoes to cruisers! At Summerset Boat Lifts, we're proud to offer the Galva-Hoist product line of floating boat lifts. No matter what brand of boat or dock you have, the Galva-Hoist provides great value and performance. Our new lift sales are complimented by pre-owned sales and servicing of many different brands of lifts. For all your Lake of the Ozarks boat lift needs, give us a call at 573-348-5073.

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065
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