Even the best laid dams can go astray…
Case in point: Tempe Town Lake.
Nine years ago the city of Tempe installed rubber dams manufactured by Bridgestone (the tire maker). Apparently, city leaders were “TOLD” that the dams would last 20 years, more than double the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty. Not getting the claim in writing was mistake #1.
Last year, a 1 foot tear was discovered during a routine investigation of the west-end dam. Since then, several smaller tears have been discovered, as the rubber begins to break down after nine years of exposure to our extreme climate.
The kicker is that the dams cost $14 million in 1999. Now, Bridgestone has gotten out of the rubber dam business (I wonder why?) and the replacement cost will approach $22 million, not including the cost of a consultant to research options for the new dam.
I sure hope the city of Tempe has banked a good portion of the taxes attributable to recreation, dining, retail, housing, and recreation activities around the Lake!