State grant money used to fix erosion under Lake of the Ozarks toll bridge

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. -- More than 50 feet of shoreline has washed away near the Lake of the Ozarks Toll Bridge.

CG: Preventing Erosion | Lake of the Ozarks (30-35)
CG: Chris Rahmoeller | Sales Manager, Rock Works (57-103)
CG: Scott Ritchie | Manager, Rock Works (121-127)>

Nearly three-and-a-half feet of shoreline under bridge washes away every year.

"When it rains, the lake gets a little bit muddy looking, cloudy," said Donna Swall of the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance. "Or, if you have wave action whether it be from a boat, the wind, weather, it's going to erode soil away from the bank."

That soil can cause a lot of problems in the water.

"It becomes a table for bacteria to grow, as well as the phosphorous situation for algae blooms and unhealthy water," Swall added.

For the last seven years, LOWA has been trying to get a state grant to help stop that soil under the bridge from washing away.

This year, the group got the money.

"DNR stepped up to the plate, so we want to thank them big time," Swall said.

LOWA used the $76,000 grant to buy massive rocks - known as rip rap - to stop that erosion.

"It takes a lot of rock," said Chris Rahmoeller, Sales Manager at Rock Works.

In fact, they're using 1,300 tons of it. That's 2.6 million pounds of limestone.

"It holds 120 tons of rock on the barge, so it takes several trips from our quarry," Rahmoeller added.

Scott Ritchie, the manager of Rock Works, says laying the rip rap around the peninsula will take a little more than a week. That's less time than it would take to make a concrete sea wall.

"It lasts for years and years, and it's just natural," Ritchie said. "Later on down the road it just turns into regular rock just like the shoreline, so we're good."

LOWA also offers property owners a cost-share program to install rip rap on their property.

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