Celebrating Bois d’Arc Lake Dam Construction Completion with NTMWD

Congratulations to the North Texas Municipal Water District, which celebrated the completion of construction on the Bois d’Arc Lake dam on Oct. 14. More than 300 people, including dignitaries from across Texas, gathered under a sparkling sky and praised the reservoir as “an amazing accomplishment.”

Bois d’Arc Lake, which has transformed a large swath of Fannin County into Texas’ first major reservoir in some 30 years, is the centerpiece of NTMWD’s new water supply program. Though the lake isn’t yet open for public recreation, the dam is complete, and other major components of the $1.6 billion water supply program are in the last phases of preparation for service. Those elements include a raw water pump station and pipelines connecting it to the new Leonard Water Treatment Plant and its high service pump station.

Since 2003, a broad, multidisciplinary Freese and Nichols team — program and construction managers, environmental scientists, designers, schedulers and many others — has worked on numerous facets of the Bois d’Arc Lake program. More than a dozen Freese and Nichols staff attended the dedication to see the result of their labors through partnership with NTMWD and many other participants.



A 2-mile-long, 90-foot-tall earthen dam created the 16,641-acre reservoir, which can store 120 billion gallons of water. Freese and Nichols is engineer of record for the dam, and our teams designed other key elements at the site, including a 236-MGD raw water pump station, 110-foot-tall intake tower and 800-foot-long service spillway featuring a 60-foot-wide labyrinth weir control section.

Other components of the program include:

  • 35 miles of 90-inch raw water pipeline to carry water to treatment
  • 70-MGD water treatment plant with a 210-MG terminal storage reservoir
  • 90-MGD high service pump station at the treatment plant
  • 25 miles of 84-inch treated water pipeline to convey water to NTMWD’s regional system for delivery to customers
  • About 6 miles of new state highway and associated county road improvements, including a new FM 897 bridge over the lake
  • More than 17,000 acres of ecological mitigation — including stream, wetland, grassland and forest restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement — to offset the lake footprint.

In addition to designing a section of raw water pipeline, the terminal storage reservoir and the high service pump station, Freese and Nichols handled program management, oversaw construction and developed the environmental mitigation plan as part of securing the federal permit for the lake. Construction has been handled through four Construction Manager at Risk packages, plus a full-service provider contract for the mitigation project.

Pictured at the dedication ceremony: Adam Payne, Program/Construction Management; Michael Votaw, Environmental Mitigation/Permitting; Rick Zarate, Environmental Mitigation; Les Boyd, Dam Engineering; Gordon Wells, Water Supply Planning (Project Manager, original team in 2003); Winston Silvia, Construction Management; Corey Anderson, Construction Management on Raw Water Pump Station, assisting with Dam/Intake; Lissa Gregg, Water Supply Planning; Sam Meisner, Intake and Raw Water Pump Station Design; Simone Kiel, Permitting/Lake Operations Plan (original team); Tom Gooch, Water Supply Planning (original team); Dan Christiansen, Construction Management/Drone Imagery; Nicole Wiesner, Dam Design/Safety; Jeff Payne, Technical Projects/Program Management; Brian Coltharp, Pump Station/Pipeline Design/Client Relations (original team); Scott Maughn, Raw Water Pipeline Design/Program Management.