MDC awards contract for improvements at Four Rivers Conservation Area

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Kansas City
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Nevada, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has awarded a $333,748 bid contract to Davis Structural and Development Corp. for replacement of 13 water control gates at the Four Rivers Conservation Area in Vernon and Bates counties. The current gates are aging with some deterioration, and some have been damaged by flooding. Davis Corp. will be providing and installing 13 stainless steel gates that are a superior design over the original gates.

Four Rivers, which includes the August A. Busch Jr. Memorial Wetlands, has 24 pools with 5,400 acres of managed wetlands in four units. Units 1 and 2 were completed in 1996, and units 3 and 4 in 2000. Those wetlands provide habitat for millions of migrating ducks, other waterfowl and shore birds during fall and spring. Four Rivers also has varied habitat such as bottomland forest. The area is popular with birders and is designated as an Important Bird Area by Audubon of Missouri with 269 species documented.

The Marais des Cygnes, Little Osage and Marmaton rivers combine to form the Osage River at Four Rivers. The area’s 13,929 acres are mostly in a floodplain which is in the Truman Lake flowage easement. Flood events are frequent. Infrastructure was designed to handle flooding by engineered floodways and water-control structures equipped with flap gates to allow water movement. Besides providing habitat for wetland species, these wetlands also provide flood abatement and improve water quality.

Replacement of the gates will help water management at the wetlands for the benefit of wildlife. The project will not begin until after the 2018-2019 hunting seasons. It will be completed by Aug. 1, 2019.

For information about the Four Rivers Conservation Area, visit