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Corps studies safety of dam

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Study to identify issues, potential risks at facility along Lewisville Lake

A safety modification study is being conducted at Lewisville Lake Dam to identify specific issues and potential risks, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials.

Corps officials will host a joint press conference with U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, next week in which in-depth details about the study’s status and progress on Lewisville Lake Dam slide repairs will be discussed.

Col. Calvin C. Hudson II, the corps Fort Worth district commander, said once the study is completed, the corps will execute a project for addressing dam issues. It’s expected the project will get underway in July 2018.

“We really accelerated that because we [weren’t] supposed to start until 2020,” he said.

Repairs to the 161-foot landslide along the upside stream of the Lewisville Lake Dam are progressing and are on schedule to be completed by late spring, Hudson said. The $6.4 million repair project got underway in January. The slide was first discovered last June during record rains and flooding.

Earlier this year, corps project manager Mike Kingston said in a statement that “the reconstructed embankment will be protected by stone riprap on the upstream side and Bermuda grass sod on the downstream side.” At the time, he said the project required that some “asphalt roadway and subgrade layers” on the embankment crest be removed and replaced.

The Dallas Morning News reported in January that repairs are necessary to prevent further erosion. Without it, there’s a risk the dam can fail and send a 65-foot-tall water wall toward downtown Dallas in the path of more than 400,000 inhabitants, according to the newspaper.

The corps told The News permanent repairs would cost between $50 million and $500 million and could take several years to complete.

Clay Church, a spokesman for the corps, said the Lewisville Lake Dam continues to function as designed and is “very safe.” It continues capturing floodwaters during rains, he said.

Corps officials continue operations and maintenance at the Ray Roberts Lake Dam, but no large projects or studies are planned for the facility, Church said. He said the facility “continues to function as designed and it continues to do a great job with its flood risk management system.”

Last summer, record rainfall  in the North Texas area caused about $30 million in damages to and forced the closure of some parks and recreation areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at lakes managed by the corps.

“We are focusing on our remediation of those areas right now so that we can re-open those and get them back and turn them back over to the public so that they can enjoy them as they were designed to do,” Hudson said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.