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Crews are building a 100-foot-long bridge over a labyrinth weir to allow staff access to the 90-foot tall dam at the new Bois d’Arc Lake.

HONEY GROVE — Construction is wrapping up in Fannin County on the first reservoir to be built in Texas in the past 30 years.

Workers are putting the final touches on the two-mile dam and 16,641-acre Bois d’Arc Lake located northwest of Honey Grove, under construction since June 2018 when the North Texas Municipal Water District broke ground on the reservoir that will furnish water to roughly 80 cities, mainly in the Dallas metroplex.

“It’s getting close, and we are getting excited,” public information specialist Kathleen Vaught said Wednesday afternoon. “Although the most visible aspects of the lake are nearing completion, there is still work to be done around the lake and at the Leonard Water Treatment Plant.

“We hope to be delivering water in mid-2022, but that all depends on Mother Nature,” Vaught added, noting that work continues both at Leonard and on the treated water pipeline between the treatment plant and the district’s regional water system distribution point near McKinney. Depending on when the Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office gives the go ahead, the lake should be open to the public sometime in the spring, she said.

Construction crews currently are building a 100-foot-long by 9-foot-wide bridge over a newly completed labyrinth weir to allow staff access to the 90-foot tall dam. The weir, which performs like a spillway, allows overflow from the reservoir to continue to Branch Creek. When the lake is full, water will flow downstream in the creek at the same rate it did before the reservoir was built. The weir and spillway are designed to release water up to the 100-year flood level. The reservoir also has an emergency spillway in case more capacity is needed, according to information provided by the water district. During dry conditions, the raw water pump station is equipped to draw and release water into the spillway to support Willow Branch Creek downstream of the dam.

Crews also are pouring the last soil and cement to seal the same and are finishing electrical and communication wiring in the pump station. Once these areas are completed, hopefully in October, crews will allow the lake to rise above its current elevation of 509 feet above sea level until it reaches its final elevation of 534 feet.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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