Trinity River Project Opens First Wetland and Awards Major Contract

The first phase, a 10-acre cell, is located at IH-45 and Overton Road.

The Trinity River Corridor Project today announced the opening of the first of a Chain of Wetlands to be constructed as part of the overall project. The first phase, a 10-acre cell, is located at IH-45 and Overton Road. A wetland is defined as a lowland area, such as a marsh or swamp that is saturated with moisture, especially when regarded as the natural habitat of wildlife.

Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the wetlands are a major component of the Trinity River Corridor’s Dallas Floodway Extension (DFE) Project to provide flood damage reduction, environmental restoration and recreation to the Trinity River Corridor in south Dallas.

“This is an exciting accomplishment for us,” said Rebecca Dugger, director, Trinity River Corridor Project. “When completed, seven wetland cells will make up the 170-acre Chain of Wetlands that will extend four miles in length from Cedar Creek to Loop 12. The wetlands will provide a secondary route for floodwaters to flow through the Great Trinity Forest, which effectively reduces flood elevations upstream.”

The wetland cells will be filled with water discharged from Dallas’ Central Wastewater Treatment Plant. The water will move through the wetlands and empty into the Trinity River. Each wetland cell is designed with a control structure to manage water elevation and promote the establishment and growth of terrestrial and wetland plants. Various species of wetland plants from the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility at Lewisville Lake will be planted to provide an essential habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife.

“In addition to flood damage reduction, the beauty of the Chain of Wetlands is they will restore a unique ecosystem that is vital to complimenting the Great Trinity Forest,” said Greg Ajemian, senior project manager, Trinity River Corridor Project. Public access to the wetlands and Great Trinity Forest will be accessible through the Trinity River Corridor Project’s 30 miles of trail systems for wildlife observations and environmental interpretive value.”

The design for the Chain of Wetlands was developed by an inter-agency and citizenry team that included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Dallas staff, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Trinity River Corridor Citizens Committee.

The Corps recently awarded a $26 million contract to T. J. Lambrecht to construct three more wetland cells as part of the Chain of Wetlands. Construction will also include a realignment of the Trinity River at IH-45 to address hydraulic problems with the bridge over that portion of the river.

Future portions of the Dallas Floodway Extension Project will include the Cadillac Heights and Lamar levees, three more wetland cells, recreation trails, and public access. Project construction is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

About The Trinity River Corridor Project

The Trinity River Corridor Project ( ) is the largest public works project in the City’s history. Dallas voters approved the $246-million project during a May 1998 bond election. When completed, the Trinity River Corridor Project will provide recreational amenities and environmental benefits, flood damage reduction.