The project will upgrade and stabilize the rock dam near the Roaring River hatchery.
"That dam was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930s," said Don Fontana, of the Missouri Department of Conservation. "The dam has eroded to the point where it won't last many more years. We want to extend the life of the dam."
"The project will stabilize the base of the old falls structure and create a walkway around the falls," said Jerry Dean, Roaring River hatchery manager.
The new walkway will tie onto the present fishing access and create an angler access platform.
"I think anglers and other visitors will appreciate being able to walk so near the water falls and fish safely in that area," said Dean.
"The project will drastically improve the aesthetics of the park," said Fontana.
Construction crews will remove the metal pipe near the falls structure and replace it with a concrete flume. The new concrete structure will be placed beneath the walkway out of sight, said Dean.
The exposed pump house line will also be shortened and placed behind the new walkway.
"Right now the pump line detracts from the dam, and we want to fix that," said Fontana.
One set of stairs will be added near the pump house, and a second curved stairway access will be added at the far end of the dam to keep people from crawling over the dam.
Dam deterioration has also caused the hatchery to lose water, said Fontana.
"We will redo the water supply from the spring to the mouth of the hatchery," said Fontana. "We want the hatchery to capture right at the spring, so that not as much water is lost."
A water intake supply structure will be added at the mouth of the spring that will feed into the conduit, said Dean. The structure will keep the hatchery water from collecting leaves and debris.
"We are hoping it will enable us to raise more fish and keep us from having to shut the hatchery down because of a lack of water," said Dean. "We lose a lot of water because of leaks, and this will make the hatchery a lot more efficient."