Interns Get Up-Close Look at Bois d’Arc Lake

Soon after starting their summer assignments, 15 Freese and Nichols interns from the Fort Worth-Dallas-area offices toured the Bois d’Arc Lake construction site for valuable insights into a $1.6 billion program designed to start providing water to 1.7 million residents of a fast-growing 10-county area of North Texas in 2022.

In addition, the 16,641-acre lake, owned by the North Texas Municipal Water District, will provide a new source of recreation economic activity for the area. The program involves multiple partners, with components that include a dam and spillway, pump stations, pipelines, a raw water treatment station, environmental mitigation, roadway relocation, a lake operations center and boat ramps, and land use/zoning regulations. Freese and Nichols has provided program management, construction management and inspection for five construction packages, along with design of several facilities and other services.

The first major component of the program was completed in 2020 with the opening of 11 miles of county and state roads, and the lake started filling in spring of 2021.

The field trip offered the kind of up-close experience that Freese and Nichols provides interns, who have opportunities to not only learn about meaningful projects but get to work on them during their tenure.

The group, led by Stephanie Buckingham, who heads the intern program, visited the dam, spillway, pump station and water treatment facility. Members of the Program Management/Construction Management team led the tours, giving their perspective on the ongoing work and what it’s like to have a role in such a large, impactful project.

After the site tour, Program Manager Adam Payne gave a wonderful presentation on the processes, challenges and future of the project.

Joseph Gonzalez, a transportation design intern in the Fort Worth office, said he enjoyed getting to “witness and truly appreciate all the work that goes into a project of this magnitude.”

The reservoir is the first of its kind in Texas in about 30 years, and the interns had an exclusive chance to ask questions and tap into the knowledge of experienced veterans, some of whom have devoted thousands of hours to the project.

Lauren Hodge, a sales intern in the Fort Worth office, said she was surprised by “how little the project time-frame was affected even by such a big thing as COVID-19.”

Adam commended the staff working on the project and explained how well things have gone according to plan with such a large project.

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