PHOENIX — Throw on your swimsuits and hit the water: Tempe Town Lake is officially back up and running.
According to a recent press release, the lake reopened for boating and water activities on Friday at noon. The lake was previously closed in order to be drained to repair a dam.
“We are so thrilled to announce that Tempe Town Lake is back in business, and we’re thankful to the entire community for the patience they have shown as we completed this major construction project,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell said in the release.
The dam was closed in February to begin draining and was not refilled until April.
It took nearly two weeks to refill the entire lake, with officials using one million goldfish and minnows to fight off a swarm of flies.
When the lake was drained, a number of weapons were found at the bottom. Police recovered a knife and three pistols, one of which was stolen, as well as part of another pistol when the lake was empty.
The lake was drained in order to construct a hydraulically-operated steel and concrete dam on the west end of the lake, replacing an old inflatable rubber dam system.
The new dam will use eight steel gates mounted on a “roller-compacted concrete foundation” about 100 feet from the existing dam, according to the city.
In honor of the lake’s reopening, the city is offering residents opportunities to tour the lake on a community boat ride from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on May 12 and celebrate at Tempe Center for the Arts from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 14.
The area surrounding the lake is undergoing massive growth: the lake’s first hotel is expected to open sometime this month.
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