After months of thorough evaluations, repair to the historic Balmorhea State Park pool is set to begin.
The labor-intensive job will repair the damage to the concrete apron used to stabilize the diving board along the east head wall after part of the structure collapsed during the pool’s annual cleaning in early May. Further geotechnical examination concluded that the structure failure was due to years of undermining erosion behind the wall caused by the flow of water from the springs.
The project is expected to take several months to complete and is estimated to cost $2 million. Due to the sensitivity of the site and the presence of endangered species, no heavy equipment will be used during the construction.
Hand demolition and removal will be required for all materials.
Texas Parks and Wildlife staff will be highly involved to ensure protection of the sensitive natural and cultural resources within the park, as well.
“Making critical repairs to the popular pool while protecting the endangered resources associated with the springs is an extremely high priority of us,” says Brent Leisure, Director of Texas State Parks.
“Our plan is to reverse decades of erosive impacts and restore public access to this oasis as soon as possible. It’s regrettable that the timing of this issue has prevented Texans from cooling off in their favorite swimming hole for most of this hot summer, but visitors will find an improved park after badly needed improvements are made to the pool, the historic motor courts and the parks’ popular campground.”
Repairs to take place throughout the entire project include the creation of the cofferdams, temporary removal of the diving board and salvaging of the existing brick around the pool edge.
Also, removal of the existing distressed wall and backfill behind the wall, complete removal of the wall and installation of temporary slope protection, installation of a new wall to existing walls along the north and south side of the pool, and replacement of the backfill once repairs are complete.
The cofferdams will be constructed in the pool to ensure the protection of the endangered species and maintain water flow throughout the canals and cienegas.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.