White Rock Lake Gussied Up in Time for Summer

By Julie Tam
|  Saturday, Jun 12, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 PM CDT
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White Rock Lake Gussied Up in Time for Summer

Sunset at White Rock Lake

It took four years, but the White Rock Lake spillway is finally repaired after flood waters collapsed the retaining walls.

The city of Dallas also has made improvements to the park at Garland Road and Winsted Drive.

"I was like, 'Is it ever going to finish?'" said Trent Milner, who has visited the lake and surrounding park since the late 1990s. "You know, because you see construction everywhere, but it was well worth the wait."

A four-year wait and $16.7 million later, the retaining walls that were crushed by torrential rains in 2006 are back up.

"On the design part of what was installed in 1969 on the walls that washed out in 2006, they did not have any footings on them, so we actually corrected that from an engineering standpoint and engineered piers that go down to the bedrock," said Jennifer Cottingham, program manager for Dallas Water Utilities.

The city added a few overlook balconies with iron fencing, limestone columns and lights. Separate biking and walking trails are meant to make the park safer. And drivers will notice a new parking lot, instead of a dirt path.

"I've been biking here since I was a kid, so I know every inch of this lake," said Bruce Seilser, of Dallas. "It's real exciting what they've done."

Cottingham, who oversaw the project, said the concrete walls won't fail no matter how high the water comes.

"We hope that the project will last for 100 years or more, so we don't have to come and disturb the park again," she said.

The official dedication of the new improvements at White Rock Lake will take place Monday at 10 a.m. Mayor Tom Leppert and City Council members are scheduled to attend.

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