The Journal Express
---- — The Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) Board of Directors has approved a contract for construction of several facilities related to recreation near the Red Rock Dam in Marion County. MRES plans to build a hydroelectric facility at the dam and, in conjunction with that project, has agreed to provide new and updated recreational developments in the area.
The most recently approved facilities include installation of three picnic shelters, a fish cleaning station (with shelter), a playground, additional parking spaces, four group grills, and a new trailhead with a restroom, kiosk and gravel parking lot.
Norris Asphalt Paving Co., of Ottumwa will build the facilities. In July, MRES awarded Norris a contract to construct a 7,000-foot extension of the Volksweg Bike Trail near the dam. The bike trail project is under way and is projected to be completed in November. The other facilities are scheduled to be completed in January 2014.
MRES, an organization of 61 municipalities that own and operate electric distribution utilities, plans to begin construction of the hydroelectric power plant in early 2014. The project is slated for completion in late 2016. During construction, the project will provide 400-700 jobs and nearly $250 million of economic benefits to the four-county region.
The Red Rock Hydroelectric Project will be the second largest hydroelectric plant in Iowa and will provide enough electricity for about 18,000 homes.