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Dam tours resume

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Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 6:32 pm | Updated: 6:45 pm, Fri Jul 2, 2010.

It’s been nearly nine years since the last tour of Table Rock Dam was allowed.

    This weekend, people will once again have the chance to see the inner workings of the 50-year-old concrete giant.

    “The last time the tour was offered was right after 9/11,” said Christopher Welch, executive director of Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation, which is operating the Dewey Short Visitor Center and the tours of the dam.

    Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation was organized earlier this year to provide support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Projects of Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation will involve educational programs, research, volunteer opportunities, land and lake access improvements, stewardship, technical assistance, advocacy and educational tours of the dam and powerhouse.

    Tours will take people into and through non-sensitive areas of the dam and power plant to witness how the Corps of Engineers maintains and operates  the facility for power generation and flood control.

    “We want to show what is being done to maintain our pristine lake,” Welch said. “In Branson, we talk so much about our shows and attractions. We’ve got a No. 1, top-notch attraction right here, the dam, the lake and the visitors center.”

    Tours will be available that depart from Dewey Short Visitor Center that includes a ride on a San Francisco Cable Car and tour of the dam. Those tours are $10 for adults and $5 for children 6-11.

    Tours are also available through Ride the Ducks. Those tours will depart from 76 Country Boulevard and tour the Branson area, as well as the dam. Tickets are $31 for adults and $17 for children 6-11.

    Guests touring the dam must be at least 6 years old, an American citizen and those 16 and over must show a government issued photo ID.

    Tours depart as early as 8 a.m. Saturday.

    To make reservations call 417-266-7621.

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