Tempe Town Lake's Steel Gate Dam Construction To Begin

June 02, 2014

(Courtesy of City of Tempe)
The Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge will be 100 feet from the new steel gate dam.

Construction begins Wednesday on a new permanent steel gate dam at Tempe Town Lake. The city is replacing the temporary structure that’s been there since 2010, when the original dam gave way.

Construction crews will begin excavating on the west end of Tempe Town Lake on June 4. They will also relocate a storm drain near Tempe Center for the Arts. City officials say there will be no interruption to traffic in the area.

The $40.8 million project includes building a concrete foundation under the river and eight gates that can be lowered during flooding events.

"Those two projects need to happen before we begin pouring the foundation and the concrete in fall, and then begin dam construction in January of 2015," said Jeff Kulaga, Tempe’s Assistant City Manager.

Other U.S. cities use similar dams, but Kaluga says Tempe’s will be the largest hydraulically operated steel gate system in the world. Each gate is 106 feet long and 20 feet high. 

“The other good news is because the dam is being built 100 feet west nothing will interrupt the lake itself and we’re able to build the new dam on dry land, and we’re able to save time and money," Kulaga said.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2015.