Tempe Town Lake closed, drained to make way for new dam

- Nearly a billion gallons of water is being pumped out of Tempe Town Lake as crews work on installing a new dam at the west end.

The pumping began on Wednesday and the new dam will replace the aging rubber bladder with a new series of steel gates.

A lot of people were at the lake on Tuesday, as they enjoyed the warm weather at the lake one last time. It's expected to take at least three weeks just to drain all of the water in the lake. The old dam will then be removed and the new one installed.

Tempe Town Lake will be closed until April 30.

Businesses that depend on the lake, such as Boats-4-Rent.com, say they're being patient since they know everything will be bigger and better once the lake is refilled.

"It is not the greatest time of the year for it to happen for us, but we are very excited to get new docks and we will have a grand reopening when we rent boats again," Matt Franks said.

As for the fish in the lake, they'll be allowed to flow into the canal during the draining process. The city will also have an insect and mosquito control program in place to deal with all of the bugs.

Tempe city leaders say the new dam will last for many more years than the original rubber dam.

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