Crews removing old Tempe Town Lake dam

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- A huge crane is on-site at Tempe Town Lake to start removing the remaining sections of the rubber dam. One of those massive rubber bladders burst the night of July 20, allowing the water to pour into the Salt River bed.

Each of those 16-foot tall bladders, which are made by the Bridgestone Tire Company, weighs 40 tons, so removing them is no small task.

Crews are removing the thousands of bolts that  hold the bladders in place and then cutting the bladders into pieces. The rubber will be recycled. That process is expected to take at least a couple of weeks.

The installation of new bladders, which Bridgestone is replacing for free,  is expected to take about two weeks.

The goal is to be able to refill the lake by Nov. 1. The Arizona Ironman Triathlon, part of which is a swim in Tempe Town Lake, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 21.

Once the water starts flowing, it will likely take about two weeks to fill the lake.

Bruce Haffner was at Tempe Town Lake as crews got to work.