This year has been one of incredible progress on Lake Ralph Hall. Since Upper Trinity’s groundbreaking ceremony last June, significant activities have occurred on both the State Highway 34 bridge and clearing for the Leon Hurse Dam. Upper Trinity’s contractor, Flatiron Constructors, Inc., has placed approximately 100 beams (of the 371) needed for the new bridge to span the lake. Granite Construction Company has completed site clearing of about 500 acres to begin building the dam. Additionally, the Upper Trinity Board last month approved $12.5 million in contracts for design of a 32-mile conveyance system needed to move water from the lake into Upper Trinity’s existing system, along with associated support, administrative and maintenance facilities.
None of this would have been possible without our partners — the City of Ladonia, Fannin County and Upper Trinity Members and Customers. We are grateful for their support and look forward to continuing this coordinated effort to properly plan, construct and place the Lake Ralph Hall project into operation.
Likewise, the next few years will be exciting ones for us at Upper Trinity and Fannin County. Next year, the pace of construction for the Leon Hurse Dam and Hwy 34 bridge projects will increase, leading to a dramatically new look. Design of certain lake facilities, including the raw water pump station and pipeline, will wrap up, with construction starting shortly thereafter. In late 2022, certain environmental improvements are scheduled to begin as part of the overall mitigation plan for the reservoir. Also, District staff intend to work closely with the city and county as they strive to finalize the comprehensive land use plan and zoning regulations for the area around the new lake.
Once Lake Ralph Hall is finished in late 2025 and becomes operational in early 2026, it will provide a much needed, new water supply for the District’s rapidly growing service area. The lake will also offer a variety of activities—for visitors and residents alike. Hunting, fishing, bird watching, boating and similar activities will bring visitors and provide lasting economic benefits for Ladonia and Fannin County, as well as other nearby cities and counties. It will also help to improve the North Sulphur River and continue providing fossil hunting opportunities in the area.
We look forward to these exciting developments as we honor the legacies of Congressman Ralph Hall, Mayor Leon Hurse and Thomas E. Taylor. During this season of gratitude and joy, we remember that it is thanks to the foresight of many before us that this lake is becoming reality.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Larry N. Patterson
Upper Trinity Regional Water District