Dam work begins at Osage City

Equipment was unloaded this week and crews began moving dirt and clearing the work zone for a project that will rehabilitate the Osage City Lake dam. The city approved the issuance of $2.17 million in bonds about five years ago to pay for the repairs. 

The dam and lake were constructed in 1913 and served for years as Osage City’s main water supply, until the early 1970s when the town began pumping water from Melvern Lake. The lake still serves as a secondary water supply for Osage City, Burlingame, Harveyville and Osage County Rural Water District No. 7. The project will repair cracks, spalling and leaks in the dam, and repair the earthen portion that has uneven height due to unapproved modifications over the years. The lake will be dewatered during the project.

The city also continues to work on a project that would dredge out years of silt accumulation in the lake. Two recently opened contractor proposals for that project were rejected because they exceeded the engineer’s estimate of $1.4 million – one bid was almost a $1 million more, the other was more than $2 million. The engineering firm Burns and McDonnell is to reissue requests for proposals after re-engineering the project to designate only one method of dredging. See related story here.

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