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Power Plant Opens for Tours

A Keokuk landmark opened its doors to the public over the weekend after being off-limits for more than a decade.

Plant Superintendent Larry Weiman says daily tours of Ameren Missouri’s power plant on the Mississippi River were provided for years.

That is until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011, when public access was denied.

That restriction was lifted for Saturday and Sunday.

The idea was to increase interest in the facility in anticipation of next summer’s 100th anniversary of the completion of the power plant and the Keokuk dam.

Weiman says the entire complex is an engineering marvel.

“You know they had horses to take the dirt off with some of the old equipment we brought over here,” says Weiman, “and even in today’s world it would be a huge feat and I am not sure we could do it any better than they did back then.”

Weiman hopes next summer’s celebration for the 100th anniversary will feature increased access to the power plant and to the dam.

Keokuk Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger estimates that more than 5,000 people visited the power plant over the weekend.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.