Power plant construction to close portion of Stewart Road

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 6:04 p.m. CDT; updated 6:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A pair of construction projects at the MU Power Plant will close portions of Stewart Road between Providence Road and Fourth Street for two years starting Monday.

The project will eventually require the closure of the portion of Stewart between Fourth and Fifth streets later this fall but no exact date is set, said Karlan Seville, communications manager for Campus Facilities

The RC-16 parking lot will be closed as well during the project. That parking lot is reserved for power plant employees, and the closure will not affect student parking, Seville said. 

Pedestrians and bicyclists will have access to a temporary path through RC-16 as a means of reaching campus. 

“Because so many students, faculty and staff walk or ride their bikes to campus from west Stewart Road, we wanted to make sure that we could re-route them along an alternate path,” Gary Ward, MU associate vice chancellor of facilities, said in a news release from the MU News Bureau.

To access that area of campus, motorists will have the option of either entering campus on Turner Avenue to the south or Elm Street to the north.

“We are able to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists but not cars,” Seville said.

The work includes two separate projects. The first project consists of applying a protective coating to the exterior of the power plant’s north and south chimneys to prevent chunks of concrete from coming loose because of repeated freezing and thawing.

“It’s a preventative measure so nothing does happen,” Seville said.

The other project involves the installation of a 100 percent biomass boiler to replace a coal-fired boiler at the plant. 

While the biomass boiler will operate mostly on woody biomass fuels, the staff at the plant plans to work with the boiler supplier, campus researchers and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to test the feasibility of other biomass fuels, according to the release. 

The biomass boiler will lower the level of emissions from the power plant and is intended as a sustainability initiative, Seville said. The new boiler will not affect energy output. 

Overall, the two projects will cost a combined $75 million, Seville said. Of those funds, $65 million will come from the sale of bonds, and the remainder will come from campus reserves for capital improvement.

The MU Board of Curators approved the sale of the bonds in June 2009. 

The bonds will be repaid with future energy fees collected from each department on campus, Seville said. 

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Ellis Smith September 28, 2010 | 11:08 p.m.

Is the energy used by each department actually metered (by using individual meters)?

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