Construction begins on Tempe Town Lake dam - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Construction begins on Tempe Town Lake dam

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TEMPE, Ariz. - On July 20, 2010, a portion of the west side of the dam that contained water in Tempe Town Lake collapsed, sending a flood of water into the Salt River Bed.

It was a mess and has since been fixed, but now there's a new dam and no more rubber bladders.

Tempe Town Lake is one of the most visited attractions in the state of Arizona, second only to the Grand Canyon and soon will be home to the largest hydraulically-operated steel gate dam system in the world.

"The gate will stand somewhat vertically when the water is in the lake and then it'll just kind of draw back as needed to release," said project manager Adam Gordon.

Construction on the new $40.8 million steel gate and other preliminary work will start next week. The new dam is modeled off similar structures in Oklahoma City.  Each gate will weigh around 260,000 pounds and be 106 feet long.

The new gates will allow Tempe Town Lake to transition into a river during major flow events. 

"..to date, we've had $1.4 billion of economic growth on Tempe Town Lake, so that.. is just the beginning because we still have a lot of land to develop around the lake," said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell.

The new dam will be constructed just 100 feet downstream from where the old dam is.

The 18-month long project should be complete by December, weather permitting.
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