White Rock Lake Spillway and Trail

White Rock Lake Spillway trail aerial view

24,200 sf retaining wall


City of Dallas

White Rock Lake is a stunning 9,000 acre-foot reservoir in Dallas, located approximately five miles northeast of the central business district. It is the centerpiece of a popular urban park that attracts nature lovers, locals and fitness enthusiasts who frequent a pedestrian trail on three sides of the lake.  The lake’s dam and spillway were constructed in 1911 as the City’s water source. A major rain event in March 2006 caused retaining wall failures on both sides of the spillway. Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) immediately secured the trail areas around the spillway. In the following days, with Halff as its consultant, DWU began determining the cause of the failures and planning needed repairs.

Halff’s project design included approximately 24,200 square feet of retaining wall on three types of foundations: drilled shaft, cantilever and soldier piers. Three cantilevered overlooks extending 10 feet beyond the wall over the spillway were incorporated into the design. Halff also designed more than 25,000 square feet of new pavement, including a new parking lot, trails and plazas, and a south wall promenade.

While the structural repairs were being made, an opportunity arose to improve park facilities in the spillway area. Halff created a spillway-specific landscape master plan, referred to as the Spillway Aesthetic Plan. Concepts were presented to a citizen focus group that provided feedback to help shape the final park facility improvement concepts. The promenade concept emerged, which allows space for pedestrians to congregate and observe the spillway while cyclists and joggers are safely located on a separate trail.

Related Project  |  Dallas White Rock Lake Spillway Improvements and Modifications | Engineering Services

White Rock Lake view from trees
aerial view of White Rock Lake trail with people outside
White Rock Lake view from trees
aerial view of White Rock Lake trail with people outside

Halff Services

  • Environmental
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Local Infrastructure
  • MEP Engineering
  • Planning
  • Structural Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Watershed Plans & Studies

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