The California Crossing Dam doesn't look like much, just a few hunks of concrete anchored in the Trinity River in far Northwest Dallas, but it's important. The water that pools up behind it is processed at the Bachman Water Treatment Plant, which is a key component of the city's water supply system.
So, when the dam began showing its age and it became clear that it needed major repairs, the Dallas City Council didn't hesitate last September to pay Archer Western Construction $3.6 million to overhaul California Crossing and two other city-owned dams.
On Thursday, the company drained the pool of water to discover an unexpected obstacle: 20 vehicles submerged in the Trinity River.
Archer Western called Dallas police, who sent out their auto-theft task force to oversee the removal. Then, one by one, the cars were dragged from the muck. It took six hours to remove them all.
So far, police have identified 10 of the vehicles. "The oldest was reported stolen in 1987 the latest was reported stolen in 2007," he wrote in an email.
So, if you're looking for a place to dump something you don't want found for a quarter century, behind one of the dams on the Trinity is a pretty good bet.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.