Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Bachman Lake won’t shrink away if City Council approves task force recommendation
The Dallas Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure & Sustainability Committee approved a recommendation by the Bachman Lake - Love Field Task Force to keep the footprint of
the lake as is. The recommendation moves to the full City Council for a vote in the coming weeks.
The meeting was attended by 25 Friends of Bachman Lake who were recognized by
District 6 Councilman, Omar Narvaez. Members of the committee cited the enthusiastic support as a reason to move forward to a full vote of the recommendation by the City Council without objection.
The presentation by Richard Wagner, Assistant Director of the Dallas Water Utilities, highlighted the results of a Love Field / Bachman Lake feasibility study which considered three main options for funding infrastructure needs around Bachman Lake and flooding concerns at Love Field:
Option A – Lower dam; smaller lake
This option would lower the dam and permit water runoff from Dallas Love Field to drain
through the lake waters. This would result in a smaller lake footprint with enough water
to sustain rowing activities.
Option B – The not-so-great lakes
This option would break up the lake into smaller “lakes” to allow the lowering of the dam (which removes state oversight of the dam). Frequent silting was cited as a possible
concern. With Bachman Lake in desperate need of dredging as it is, it was also not an
Option C – No dam, no lake, just a creek
This option was the most drastic, essentially eliminating all of the lake’s features and
returning the space to a small stream of water as it had been over 100 years ago. While
this provided additional green space and an opportunity for land-based recreational
additions, it also was the most expensive option.
The Task Force met several times in late 2018 and again this past February and condensed their recommendations to an updated version of Option A with additional recreational amenities and a “Maintain the Lake” option which kept the footprint of the lake the same.
A cost evaluation demonstrated that maintaining the lake’s footprint as is, along with
dredging the lake and tending to the dam at the same time, was actually the least
expensive option and would save the City tens of millions of dollars.
District 6 Councilman Narvaez mentioned that he met repeatedly with constituents. He
said “Everybody wanted to maintain the lake.” Opting for what he called a non-violent
version of a popular phrase, he added: “We can hug two birds with one embrace,”
referring to lake dredging and dam repairs that could be done at the same time. The work would require draining the lake’s water for a six to eight month period but would also leave enough money in the City budget to proceed with a skate park, an aquatic center and upgrades to the Bachman Lake recreation center.
Councilman Adam Medrano’s District 2 also borders part of Bachman Lake. He too
expressed his support for the “Maintain the Lake” option and addressed the Friends of
Bachman Lake by adding: “I thank you for caring about the community.”