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Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement

Once completed, Tempe Town Lake Dam will be the largest hydraulically controlled crest-gate dam in the nation.
  • Rendering of Tempe Town Lake Dam-Gannett Fleming

    Tempe Town Lake Dam’s design and steel construction are expected to last 50 years longer than the previous rubber dam.

Client
City of Tempe
Location
Tempe, Arizona
Our Role
Alternatives Evaluation, Final Design, Construction Management.
Data
Size:
1,000 feet long
Completed:
In Progress
Type:
New Construction
Duration:
In Progress
Outcomes
  • Dam replacement will be more stable and last 50 years longer than previous dam

  • Success as a flood control tool, recreation venue, and an economic development center.

Due in part to the extreme weather conditions in this desert environment, the inflatable rubber dam initially constructed to impound Tempe Town Lake was deteriorating much faster than anticipated. In July 2010, one rubber bladder failed, draining millions of gallons of water from the lake, requiring an immediate evaluation for replacement from the Gannett Fleming team.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming was engaged to study the alternatives for the dam replacement. We worked closely with the city to evaluate and select a replacement dam based on costs, constructability, reliability, aesthetics, and the ability to capture the lake after large flows. The team conducted an alternatives evaluation workshop with project stakeholders, performed hydrologic and hydraulic analyses associated with the design inflow conditions, prepared preliminary design plans, and performed a failure modes and effects analysis to compare the short-listed alternatives.

After selecting the alternative, Gannett Fleming also performed final design, prepared construction documents, performed geotechnical investigations, coordinated with the gate vendor and construction contractor, and obtained a dam safety permit from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Key Features

  • The team studied more than 20 options, eventually selecting a hydraulically operated steel gate system consisting of eight 106-foot-long by 17-foot-tall steel gates supported by seven concrete piers and two abutment walls

  • It will be the largest gate system of its kind in the nation.

Similar Projects: Dams & Levees: Dam Risk & Reliability Assessments, Water/Wastewater: Dams & Levees, Dams & Levees: Dams Investigation & Design, Geotechnical, Security & Safety