Tempe delays replacing dams on Town Lake

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PHOENIX (AP) -- City officials say last month's heavy rains have delayed the replacement of Tempe Town Lake's four west-end dams.

Work was to begin earlier this month but was postponed when the Phoenix metropolitan area suffered its most severe winter storm in 17 years. The dams are being replaced because the rubber of which they are made is deteriorating.

The storm caused a surge in the flow upstream from the Salt River. To prevent flooding, Tempe deflated the lake's rubber dams so the water could flow down the Salt River bed west toward Phoenix. The lake was closed for several days after the storm to allow debris to continue to flow through the river channel and out of the lake.

The cost to replace the dams is estimated at $2.5 million. Tempe officials say the first of the four dams is to be installed in April or May when the winter runoff subsides.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

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