Council Opts Not to Study Trinity Whitewater Feature. Now, It's a Do-It-Yourself Project.

Thumbnail image for StandingWaveComposite.jpg
Conceptual rendering, meet The Real Thing
For now, at least, you can forget about the city spending an additional five figures to study the Dallas Wave, which Schutze calls in this week's paper version of Unfair Park "the unbelievably screwed-up man-made kayaking rapids" in the Trinity River. No doubt you recall: A few weeks ago the Park and Rec board OK'd giving Freese and Nichols an additional $76,648 to take a long, hard look at the bypass channel for canoers trying to paddle out of the way of the kayakers. It was supposed to go the city council Wednesday:
Authorize a professional services contract with Freese and Nichols, Inc. for consulting services to include a survey of existing conditions, physical hydraulic model, analysis, coordination, and report for the Trinity Standing Wave (The Dallas Wave) located at 1900 East Eighth Street - Not to exceed $76,648 - Financing: 2006 Bond Funds
But last night, when the City Secretary's Office posted a sneak peek at the addendum for next week's council meeting, that item was listed as "deleted." So too was the additional $75,000 going toward those jury and trial consultants in the city's whistleblower case. Sources say they were dropped from the agenda after City Attorney Tom Perkins briefed the council behind closed doors on Wednesday. Regarding the Dallas Wave (or Standing Wave, whatever) at least, the council was not pleased about sinking even more dough into a project that was supposed to cost $1.5 mil and is now guesstimated to have run the city upwards of $4 million.

So, then: What now? One source says the city will do what its Boulder, Colorado, designers have suggested -- using concrete to alter the lower bypass channel in such a way it will change the gradient and reduce water flow through the side channel. No word on when that's supposed to happen ... or how much that'll cost. Less than $76,000, though. No doubt Schutze has some thoughts on the subject; Charles Allen too.
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Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

JimS:

I know it must be somewhere in all you have written about this, but has the City ever said (1) which department was in charge of this project, (2) who the person was within the department who oversaw the project, (3) who made the decision to hire the contractor who built it, (4) was that contract put out for competitive bid, (5) who approved the deviation from the approved design, and (6) who approved the contract over-payments.

JimS
JimS

Until Wilonsky posted the illustrations above, I had never pondered the two things side by side -- the concept and the execution. One thing strikes me. A more natural configuration like the one the designers rendered, with boulders, is more forgiving in yerms of currents. The boulders tend to break up a big current into complex interwoven smaller circuits that you can kind of play or finesse in a canoe or kayak. In a real river, you might be making very small corrections with your paddle to thread between the cross-currents. But when you build a solid flat vertical cliff, as the contracor has done, you create great big massive monolithic currents, like a damn water cannon, that are much tougher to overcome in a paddleboat. 

JimS
JimS

smaller CURRENTS not circuits.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Just like the gas drilling issue, the City of Dallas(city manager) thought that they knew better and could throw something together on the cheap, on the down low, and then come out looking really good. But karma comes back and bites the city in the ass once again. They never learn.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

They'd better get the designer here to supervise, or they'll just screw it up some more......

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

At last night's budget town hall with Angela Hunt, a questioner brought up the Wave, and I asked Angela if the city had filed a claim against the architect's perfornance bond yet.  Angela said that negotiations were ongoing and that she thought it would be resolved in a friendly manner.  Personally I think bond claims against the architect and builder should have already been filed.

scottindallas
scottindallas

You assume the architect's plans were followed

Ttavis Rex
Ttavis Rex

How about spending some money on water quality tests for the Trinity?   We've heard for years about the grand plans for the Trinity, but there isn't much talk about how safe the water is.  In all my years here in Dallas, I don't know anyone who would willing put themselves or their boat in the river.  Maybe this notion has been false all these years and the water is perfectly potable...(insert sarcasm at will).

Marc W. McCord
Marc W. McCord

TCEQ already monitors the river on a frequent basis, and we know the nature of water "quality". It is rated "unsafe for contact recreation." It has an E.Coli count of about 4-6 times higher than the maximum safe level for human contact, and that is on a GOOD day. The water and soil of the river bottom and banks contains PCBs, phenols, heavy metals and other toxins that came down Mountain Creek from Chance Voight Aircraft Plant in the 1940's and 50's before all us "tree hugging environmentalist liberals" were aware of such things, and before many of us were born.

We do not need to spend money to know the condition of the water, and we cannot afford to spend the tens of billions of dollars that would be required to clean up the river. What we need is leadership by example. I suggest that ANY City Council member, City Plan Commissioner, Dallas Citizens Council member or Dallas Parks and Recreation employee who has ever cast a vote FOR any of these Trinity River projects be forced to swim in that water and eat fish from it. IF they live over it, then we should listen to them. If they die, which they probably would, then good riddance!

Paul
Paul

See the following from DSHS:

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/se...

Scroll down the page for the advisories for the Trinity River.

Basically do not eat any fish caught from the Trinity, Mountain CreeK Lake or Lake Worth.

Also see:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fi...

Paul
Paul

PS:  Long duration water contact is probably not a very good idea.

Paul
Paul

The smokestack that you see at the WRL dam is from the boilers that powered the steam powered water pumps.

You might be thinking of Northlake which was built as the cooling water supply for the TXU steam plants.

scottindallas
scottindallas

That's the story my dad described, amazing that we built all those lakes.  He is also working on securing water from an Indian tribe in SE OK.  That river drains into the Red River, which he says is so salinated or otherwise fouled that it is useless; perhaps just economically so.  It's a fascinating history. 

What really irks me is that San Antonio has Zero lakes for water.  As a Hill Country-phile it bothers me that they are willing to dry the springs at Comal, San Marcos and others and unwilling to seek/provide other supplies.  Comparatively, Dallas is an oasis, and well supplied.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

I had thought that White Rock Lake was built as a power generation lake, that it was never used as a potable water reservoir.

Paul
Paul

During the drought in the 50's, water was piped from Lake Texoma.  It still is today by North Texas Water Utilities to the upper end of the Lake Lavon watershed.  The drought in the fifties led to the creation of water reservoirs such as Lake Fork, Lake Tawakoni, Richland Chambers Reservoir, Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard. 

The water from Lake Texoma is now contaminated with zebra mussels and the transfer of water to Lake Lavon from Lake Texoma has been temporarily stopped.

scottindallas
scottindallas

In the 50's our principle source of water, as I understand it was from Texoma.

That said, I have a modest proposal to clean up South Dallas.  The Citizen's Council should build a tubing chute and water park in the Trinity.  Of course, make it free, and run shuttle buses from all over South Dallas to the new water park.  Then, let biology and chemistry work their magic.  It would be the modern and more fun equivalent of small pox infested blankets. 

Paul
Paul

Prior to upstream and reservoir development, the Trinity would essentially dry up in the summer months.

Dallas's original water source, after water wells, was the water intake structure that is now known as the Sammons Art Center at basically the intersection of DNT and Harry Hines.  (Yes Virginia that is where the Trinity was located before John Stemmons moved it.)

The reservoir at White Rock Lake was developed at about 1910 as the Trinity River had become a foul, fetid mess due to the run off from the meat packing plants and feedlots in the Fort Worth Stockyards.  If it was that bad in Dallas, imagine what it was like in Ft. Worth.

The ban on eating fish is due to PCB bioaccumulation from the various defense plants that were around Lake Worth and Mountain Creek Lake.

I wouldn't recommend long term water contact on sheer principle as the only reason why there is water in the downtown Dallas portion of the Trinity is due to the effluent from all of the upstream water treatment plants .... You know Grand Praire, Irving, Arlington, Ft. Worth, HEB, Flower Mound, Coppell, Grapevine, etc., basically what about 1,000,000 or so people flush down the drain ...

Travies Rex
Travies Rex

 Thanks..just as I had suspected.  All that money spent on "the rapids" and not one person on the city Council was smart enough or cared enough about the safety of the water.  Someone got paid and I guess, that is business as usual for Big D.  We mind as well build our "Riverfront" near the trash dump..it can't smell or be any more toxic than the Trinity. 

Deerwoman
Deerwoman

Rip the sucker apart and get the river back to the way it was.  The city has spent enough time and money on this and it probably won't be used that much.   Might be popular until the new wears off and it's seasonal anyway for most people.  Just get the solar powered water taxis operating and everyone will be able to "enjoy" the wonders of the Trinity.

JimS
JimS

Knowledgeable source told me this morning the dam that creates "The Wave" is already silting in. Unsure what that will do. It may just push the river east, tear out a bunch of stuff and leave the wave thing high and dry.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

If that happens, the City will have to start sending C&D letters to the airlines to prevent people from seeing the thing.

NewsDog
NewsDog

No, the City would send a C&D to Mother Nature. Because she is probably one of those libtard hippie types that like to interfere with the carefully thought out plans the City always has to benefit the wealthy developeers.   

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

This will seem like such a great decision when the court cases get to the discover phase after the accidents.  Too bad the 'idjits' who made this decision will not only escape liability for themselves but will probably make side money to other cities who want to spend money on urban waves.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

To the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain”From the Wizard of Oz We could paddle along for hoursAmongst our ivy towersIn sunshine and in rainWe could hire another studyThe waters already muddyIf we only had a brain. Oh why couldn’t weGet the right fix done for free?Oh why shouldn’t weWaste more money in the form of new fees Instructions we should have follow(ed)But tax money we always wallowIn good times and in badWe had to do it our wayIt’s our way or the highwayIf we only had a brain.

NewsDog
NewsDog

The brain was in a jar labled Abbey something.

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