PHOENIX – The west side of Tempe Town Lake is going to have a new look soon.
Construction is nearing completion on installing eight hinged steel gates which will operate as the lake’s new dam. Each one is 106 feet wide, 17 feet high and weighs 232,000 pounds.
“The size and scope of this dam really is unprecedented for Tempe and for the region and we think it may be the largest hinged steel gate dam of its type in the world,” Nikki Ripley, City of Tempe spokesperson said. “The western dam replacement is such an important thing for Tempe and for Town Lake because it preserves Tempe Town Lake for a long time to come.”
The dam is set to be finished in February 2016 and is predicted to have a 50-year or more life span. When construction is finished, the water will be removed so the old dam can be torn out.
“When we move the water of town in the February time frame, most of the fish will leave along with that water and they’ll be gone and away through the SRP canal system,” Ripley said.
Until then, Arizona Game and Fish officials have lifted fishing limits at Tempe Town Lake.
“Game and fish is lifting its restrictions for the number of fish that can be caught so it is kind of a free-for-all for anglers out here, they can take as much as they’d like,” she said.
Ripley estimated the lake will be refilled and back in business in April.
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