Why business owners okay with extension of Bagnell Dam construction

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 4:47 PM CST
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LAKE OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - MoDOT announced it will extend construction on the Bagnell Dam Bridge after finding new structural damage.

One of the owners at Lucky’s Bar & Grill in Lake Ozark says he just wants the project to be done right.

“If it’s gonna take a little bit longer, I’m pretty much okay with it because I want it to be right,” said Larry Van Huten.

His business is near where the construction is happening. He says it has impacted his business a little bit.

”My business has been down somewhat, I’ve got a good local following. I’m an Iowa bar so I have a lot of football. On weekends, I do really great. The week’s a little bit slower, but the weekends I’d still do pretty good,” said Van Huten.

When the dam is open, he drives over it a decent amount.

”Honestly, I drive over it a lot, and the walls and the sidewalk and stuff were crumbling pretty bad. So I’ll be real truthful, sometimes when I went over, I held my breath,” said Van Huten.

The work on the Dam started in September-it was expected to be done next month, now it has been extended due to the condition being worse than expected.

”The plan right now, as you know, we had our first successful pour this week, we’ve got three pours, I believe, scheduled for next week. So really, our plan right now is to take advantage of the better weather that we have in the forecast and get as far through the process as we can,” said Randy Aulbur, Assistant District Engineer for MoDOT.

Crews have been working day and night to get the project done as fast as they can.

”It’s important for everybody to remember this structure was built I believe in 1929, and it’s kind of inevitable thing that we’ve got to do some maintenance on it from time to time. So we’re really trying to be proactive about that,” said Aulbur.

For Van Huten, he is okay as long as it’s done right. He says he has enjoyed getting to know the crew as they come in.

”They’re super nice guys. It’s a group out of St. Louis and I’ve talked to them. They come in here for lunch and stuff like that, super good guys.”

There is no expected timeline for when the project will be done. It depends on the weather.

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