Now That Dallas' Levees Are Safe, the City Wants to Hurry Up and Build the Trinity Lakes

UrbanLakePreliminary.jpg
City of Dallas
We're pretty sure this is an photograph of Urban Lake taken in the future and that the obnoxious water mark will actually be part of the landscape.
Reading the descriptions of the three lakes included in 2003's master plan for the Trinity River Corridor is a bit like browsing through a travel brochure. The lakes will help with flood control, create wetlands to restore a more natural habitat, provide ample opportunities for canoeing, be adorned with a water feature, and generally be a big wet jewel in the city's crown.

The lakes were supposed to be all done by 2014, but that vision took a hit in 2009 when the levees were found to be unsafe and again the next year when the Council voted to move some $4.75 million earmarked for the lakes to repair said levees. But now that they are officially super duper safe, it's time to stop worrying about how we're going to avoid drowning in it and start wondering when we'll get to entertain ourselves with it.

The City Council will get a refresher on the project on Wednesday. The Urban Lake will cover 90 acres near the Continental and Margaret McDermott Bridges and be flanked by an Urban Promenade. The 56-acre Natural Lake will be near I-35 and have a more, um, natural setting. And the West Dallas Lake will cover 128 acres near Westmoreland and have a sprint rowing course.

On the current timeline, construction won't start until 2017. That's too far off for city staff, which is seeking to have portions of the Urban and West Dallas lakes filled and open to visitors by 2016.

Doing that will take an estimated $41.2 million cobbled together from 1998 and 2006 bond money and future wastewater funds. It will also take a lot more planning. The city needs to figure out where all that water's going to come from, for one. It's up to the City Council to decide whether to move forward. If they give the green light, design could begin by the end of the year.

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11 comments
TexOHara
TexOHara

Where's the sailboats?  We were promised sailboats.

r_a_schumacher
r_a_schumacher

The joke's on us.  The toll road will never flood because the floodway will never again have enough water in it; of course, neither will those lakes.  But the consultants will have had their career and the trucks will flow to Alliance Airport, and that's what matters. 

MisterMean
MisterMean

The whoie project(s) are like deck chairs on the Titanic.   I am at the point where I say leave the Trinity the way it is now.  Stop messing with nature (as best as it can be called).   This whole concept has morphed into a very bad dream (delusional at best).

cheapoldgeezer
cheapoldgeezer

Hurry up and get these lakes done so welwill have lots and lots more mosquito breeding grounds and lots more taxpayers with West Nile virus to fill all our new emergency rooms. 

Texaspainter
Texaspainter

along with the Trinity East Energy pad sites that are already leased to them by Mary Suhm in 2008.

Tolldya
Tolldya

They'll get the first lake built and the Corps of Engineers will stop construction of the rest and Parks and Wildlife will kick the boaters out because of zebra mussels.  'Stand And Wave.'  Recreation's gone bye-bye.  

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

The original plan was for the lakes to be filled with treated water since the water flowing down the river is less than safe to play in.  The water flowing down the river was supposed to be channeled underneath the lakes.  Has that changed?  How is the city going to pay for the treated water with which to fill the lakes?

When the Trinity fills the levees large amounts of sediment will be deposited in the lakes.  How often does the city expect to have to dredge the lakes?  Where will that money come from?

If the toll road is going to be built; (right Mike?), won't the lakes be in the way of the road construction?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

The lakes will be adorned with a water feature? Isn't the lake itself a water feature? Or they going to add a mini niagara falls so our population can take our solar powered taxis over them and down into our killer wave?

DowntownResident
DowntownResident

 @cynicaloldbastard Nobody actually involved with the city or construction of the lakes actually cares about the water quality since they already know they are going to pull the same shit they did with the standing wave, spend a bunch of money building it and then close it for any and all use.

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