Tempe City Council Approves Funding for Manufacturing for Tempe Town Lake Dam

September 20, 2013

The largest steel dam in the country is going to be built at Tempe Town Lake. That is the word from the city of Tempe. The city council voted to approve funding for the manufacturing of the steel dam Thursday night. $12.4 million was approved for the manufacturing of the dam by SteelFab Inc., but that figure is just part of the total amount the dam will cost the city. The construction of the dam is going to cost another $22 million. That part of the project is set to be approved at a city council meeting in October.

Assistant City Manager Jeff Kulaga said the new steel dam will expand the lake about 100 feet west so water will be on both sides of the pedestrian bridge.

“Building it 100 feet west allows the construction to occur on dry land so it makes, saves some money and time while you are building that without worrying about the lake waters," Kulaga said.

The project is set to be completed by December of 2015, when the current rubber dam will be removed. Between now and January 2014 the design will be finalized.The fabrication of the dam is will begin in January 2014.

Construction and excavation will start in spring of that year. The levy walls will be redone in the summer of 2014. Steel gates will be installed from January until summer of 2015. The city will test the structure from October until December of 2015, then once it is completely installed, the rubber dam will be removed.

"We believe this is a long term solution for Tempe and Tempe Town Lake," said Kulaga.

Kaluga said with the right maintenance the steel gates should last at least 50 years.

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