Much to the delight of business owners, traffic across Bagnell Dam is flowing again. There is a weight restriction of 18 tons, which I believe is permanent, and will hopefully stop heavy large vehicles, like concrete trucks, from using it. They weigh about 30 tons when loaded.
At a contracted cost of $1,611,862 (minus whatever penalty Concrete Strategies LLC might have had to pay for taking so long to complete) the question is whether or not the public got what it paid for in terms of need. The dam may belong to Ameren, but the road deck is maintained by MODOT. As we all knew, the road deck over the dam was in bad shape at the end of last summer. The increase in number of visitors, years of neglect, and just plain abuse from inexperienced drivers running up on the sides, had left road conditions in an obviously poor state. I say obvious because I know new visitors commented on its condition and safety as. more often then not, the dam was the first site seen coming to the lake. It's bad enough the concertina wire gives the impression of a prison wall on the north bend. I still can't stand the site of it. A higher concrete wall would have been better than that eyesore...but I digress.
The road deck looks solid now, and it's a smooth ride (except for the necessary expansions joints). The sidewalk is repaired and missing chunks of concrete fixed. How long will it last? Who knows, but it's nice to have our road back.