On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council voted to spend nearly $2 million to remove a whitewater feature in the Trinity River. The infamous Standing Wave, installed at a cost of more than $4 million in 2011, has never worked as planned.
The wave was intended to have a challenging middle section for experienced paddlers and bypasses on both sides of the river for those who didn't want to deal with the rapids. But problems arose before the park officially opened because the bypasses proved to be treacherous to all but the most experienced users. The day before the park was supposed to open in May 2011, two boaters almost died in one of the bypasses, forcing the city to close the Standing Wave.
It remains unused, and the Army Corps of Engineers threatened the city in 2016 with shutting off the feature's water supply if Dallas didn't do something to make the river navigable again. The council could have paid more for a total removal but opted for a more humble plan (see below).
City staff and the Dallas park board have both recommended partial removal, paid for with funds allocated by the Trinity Watershed Management department. The funding would come from bond money that voters approved in 1998 for improving the Trinity. A total removal would have required the city to find money elsewhere.
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