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Dear Residents and Project Stakeholders,

Dallas Water Utilities will soon begin improvements to the Bachman Lake Dam and Spillway to minimize flood risk, ensure dam safety and meet regulatory compliance. The rehabilitation upgrades will ensure dam safety for years to come, and trail improvements will enhance the experience of visitors. Bachman Dam was originally built in 1901 and its dam and spillway mitigates flooding of nearby properties, infrastructure, and businesses. While the dam has only needed minor repairs over its lifetime, larger improvements are now required to minimize flood risk and comply with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations for dam safety.

Activities at Bachman Lake began in early 2022 and focused on dredging the lake to remove sediment and debris accumulated over time. This work was completed in April 2023. The contractor removed 154,441 cubic yards of sediment and 3,125 tons of debris from the lake. The dredging restored the lake’s water depth for recreational use and improved water quality.

The next phase of improvements at Bachman Lake will begin in early December 2023 and are focused on dam and spillway improvements. Improvements will be made to replace and increase the capacity of the existing service spillway and relocate the auxiliary spillway to avoid flooding adjacent properties. In addition, structural improvements to the dam will preserve the integrity of the main embankment and meet TCEQ dam safety requirements. Some trees must be removed near the main embankment to meet the state’s dam safety regulations. Once construction is complete, large-canopy trees will be planted to supplement the existing landscaping. The project will also widen the trail across the dam embankment, upgrade the trail’s lighting and adjust the trail in some locations to meet accessibility requirements.

During the dam and spillway construction improvements, a temporary trail detour will be established to ensure pedestrian safety and maintain accessibility. Here is what you can expect:

  • Detour signs will guide trail users to follow the temporary trail route from the south side of the main dam along the sidewalk next to Denton Drive.
  • The temporary trail will continue north, then turn onto Webb Chapel Extension, where the right lane will be closed to vehicles and will be open for pedestrians up to Bachman Drive.
  • From Webb Chapel Extension, trail users will follow the temporary trail in front of the Bachman Recreation Center until it connects with the existing trail northeast of the playground at Bachman Lake Trail marker 131 (BLT 131). The two DART bus stops located on Webb Chapel Extension (between Denton Drive and Bachman Drive) will remain in use and be accessible.

See full size project and trail detour map:

Below is a project timeline for the Bachman Lake Dam and Spillway Improvement project. Construction activities may be updated as the project moves forward.

Date Activity
September 27, 2023 City Council approval of construction contract.
Winter 2023/2024 Begin dam and spillway improvement construction.
Winter 2025/2026 Complete dam and spillway construction and remove equipment.

Project updates will be posted at https://bachmanlakedam.com and social media platforms at @bachmanlakedam on Facebook, Instagram, and X (previously Twitter). Residents can also subscribe to receive email updates through the project website and submit questions through the Contact Us page. Please let us know if you do not wish to continue receiving updates about this project.

For More Information:
Contact Dallas Water Utilities Project Manager, Mark S. Mihm, P.E., CDT, ENV SP
Phone: 214-670-4271
Email: [email protected]