Bagnell Dam was begun many years ago, before the beginning of the Great Depression, in August of 1929 and was completed in April of 1931. A short history of the dam is available. Some interesting statistics related to Bagnell Dam follow:
Earth excavation 937,000 cubic yards Rock 72,500 cubic yards Concrete 553,000 cubic yards Reinforcing steel 2,000 tons Structural steel 1,500 tons Gates, trash racks, and guides 2,100 tons Hydro-electric machinery 1,500 tons Form work 2,100,000 square feet Reservoir clearing 26,000 acres
Drainage area 14,000 square miles Maximum recorded flow 110,000 cubic feet/second Minimum recorded flow 324 cubic feet/second Average flow 10,500 cubic feet/second
Area 95 square miles Length 129 miles Shoreline 1,300 miles Water impounded 650 billion gallons
Length including headworks 2,543 feet Length of spill-way section 520 feet Length of abutment section 1,512 feet Length of headworks 511 feet Max height bedrock to highway 148 feet Max width base of spill-way 132 feet Max width base of abutment 93 feet Cost of project 30 million dollars
136 miles to St. Louis 36 miles to Jefferson City 75 miles above confluence of Osage and Missouri rivers
20,000 men labored in the preparatory and construction work, which continued day-in and day-out, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The construction of Bagnell Dam took less than 2 years.