Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Lake Filling Turns 30-Year Dream into Reality for Tempe

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Lake Filling Turns 30-Year Dream into Reality for Tempe

Article excerpt

With the turn of a valve on June 2, Tempe, Ariz., Mayor Neil Giuliano and city council members began releasing water from the Colorado River and took a giant leap in the process of transforming the dry Salt River bed into the opulent oasis of Tempe Town Lake.

The Tempe Town Lake, part of Tempe's ambitious Rio Salado Project, dates back to 1966 when an Arizona State University architecture class was challenged to address issues related to the barren Salt River bed: flooding, mining, landfills, agricultural and industrial businesses, utility corridors and lack of environmental protection and recreational uses.

A scaled-back version of their ambitious solution, which included a plan to develop a waterway from Tempe to the Gulf of Mexico, became the foundation of the current strategy to convert the dry riverbed into a meandering urban park full of opportunities. The result is an engineered Flood-control project that is being enhanced to meet the recreational, environmental and economic needs of the community.

The lake is contained within a flood channel using inflatable dams and a water recovery well system. Water that seeps through the lakebed is captured and pumped back into the lake. Slurry walls provide the lake edge, helping to contain the nearly one billion gallons of water that fills the lake.

Once completed, citizens and visitors will be able to enjoy sailing canoeing, rowing and other water activities. Rental opportunities will provide paddle boating, aqua cycling, dinner cruises and educational and historic tours. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.