Study Could Decide Future of Bachman Lake

What will Bachman Lake look like in the next few years? A study into future use of Bachman Lake Park and a nearby dam could decide the future of the Dallas landmark.

“I think we are trying to look at how we can better utilize this lake and take better care of it,” Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman said.

Others are fearful the lake will become unrecognizable.

"I'm afraid we'll end up with the Bachman dirt patch,” Henry Roseman said.

The 18-year-old Roseman has been on a mission to save Bachman Lake. He has spent months looking for funding to have the lake dredged to remove silt and debris. Roseman is now concerned with the future of the lake in general.

“It’s just going to be a shame for the city to lose this if they do,” he said.

Kleinman explained the study and any action is dependent of several groups, including lake owner Dallas Water Utilities, Trinity Watershed Management and Dallas Love Field.

“We are bringing those departments together to try to figure out how to best utilize this facility,” he said.

Kleinman said the study will look at several alternatives.

“One of them is turning it into a permanent rowing facility which would include a competition facility,” he said. “Currently in North Texas, there is no competition facility for rowing.”

“Part of the feasibility study will be looking at a North entrance to Love Field and if we do that with a bridge across the lake, that would actually bring some of the aviation money into the project as well,” Kleinman added. “By using these four components of the city, we can actually have kind of shared cost factor when we go to develop this lake.”

Part of the study was approved in late 2016 and revolves around a dam near Bachman Lake.

“It’s my understanding that they will be looking at the dam, whether to reduce the size of the dam, which would reduce the size of the lake, but would actually give us more park land,” Kleinman said. “If they need to decommission the dam altogether, which is probably not very likely, because that would just turn this back into a creek.”

Kleinman stressed he does not think the loss of the lake will happen.

“When we do feasibility studies we look at all alternatives and always one of the alternatives is the ‘do nothing’ alternative. You look at everything from ‘do nothing’ to what works,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a real possibility that we would ever decommission the dam.”

As a rower in the lake, Roseman is in support of possibly having a world-class rowing facility at Bachman Lake, but he is cautiously optimistic.

“These projects often run out of money before they get to finish the pretty part,” he said. “So, I’m afraid and worried that it could be a dirt patch because they will remove the dam and say ‘we’ve used all of our money for the project. Let’s go fix a road somewhere.”

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