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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista The walkable surface of the Lake Bella Vista dam was washed away in February's flood.

The Lake Bella Vista dam was reopened after some low-cost repairs last week.

The dam was initially closed because of damage from the late February flooding, which washed away portions of the walking surface, dragged debris onto the dam and eroded away dirt alongside it.

Bentonville Parks and Recreation director David Wright said that last year's repairs were never intended to be permanent and the current repairs are designed to get the damn functional and safe as a portion of the walking trail without incurring a great deal of cost because a decision will soon be made about the park's future -- which could mean a project to remove and replace or remove the dam altogether.

"What was down before, we knew would wash away. It was not a permanent fix," he said. "We were not surprised with what we found ... The repairs that we're making now are minimal compared to what we've done in the past."

James Bise, a crew leader with the Bentonville Street Department, was on scene working to get the dam walkable again. Crews started last Wednesday and the trail segment across the dam was reopened Friday.

"We're trying to get it open," he said Thursday.

The crew, he explained, filled the holes near the dam entrance with dirt, then compacted SB2 gravel on top of it for extra stability. The dam surface itself, he said, was topped with compacted gravel to create a safer walking surface after recent erosion left the surface uneven. Significant tripping hazards, he said, were filled in with premixed asphalt.

An exact cost for this round of repairs, Wright said, is not yet available, but the parks department will continue making low-cost repairs like these whenever required until a final decision is made.

Wright said he intends to have something in front of the city council during its May meeting, but that's not a hard date. There will likely be another task force meeting before that, he said.

"We'll spend the minimal amount of dollars that we can to make it usable from a recreation standpoint," Wright said. "We'll keep doing that until we can make a decision on this."

General News on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: Lake Bella Vista dam given temporary fix

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