Abilene City Council: Lake improvements to be made early next year

The Abilene City Council has chosen a construction company that will make improvements to the lakes surrounding the City of Abilene to help out the city when it floods.

For $3.4 million, Bontke Brothers Construction Company will make repairs to Lake Abilene, Lake Fort Phantom Hill and Lake Kirby.

“Starting with Lake Kirby, we're addressing erosion on the upstream slope of that dam which disturbs some rip-rap. It's been a concern for a while," said Rodney Taylor, Abilene's Director of Water Utilities.

Bontke Brothers will also repair erosion on the slopes at Lake Fort Phantom Hill.

There is additional work that will be done to Lake Kirby.

"[As a] part of our evaluations of the dams, it was realized that the [Lake Kirby] dam does not meet the current criteria for what they call the ‘passage of the probable maximum flood event.’ So, you have to calculate the major rainfall on the watershed event in the worst-case scenario and evaluate how the dam and spillway system performs," Taylor said.

Lake Kirby did not meet the criteria, so 1.6 feet will need to be added to the dam.

Here is how this may affect those who live near Lake Kirby.

“We'll install a new asphalt surface to seal the top of the dam, the result of that is that there will not be enough room to park or to allow two-vehicle passages on that dam," Taylor said.

Contractors are going to fence in areas and close off all access on the west side of the lake on Highway 83/84 and then they will create a new west side access road out to Spur 707 and create a new parking area.

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