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JUNE 2021
Lake Construction Begins!

Lake Ralph Hall construction is underway! A groundbreaking celebration was held June 16 at the site of the future Leon Hurse Dam, named for the City of Ladonia’s former mayor. The lake is named after former U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall. The event’s theme—‘Water for the People’—highlighted the decades of dedication by many to provide water for the region UTRWD serves in North Texas.  

“Today’s celebration acknowledges 20 years of planning, permitting and design activities,” explained Larry Patterson, Executive Director of UTRWD.  

More than 300 celebrants, consisting of representatives from UTRWD’s board of directors; representatives from member and customer cities; elected officials from Fannin, Denton and Collin Counties and the City of Ladonia; representatives from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB); family members of Ralph Hall and Leon Hurse; and contractors hired to build the project gathered together for the momentous occasion.    

Along with area children representing the multiple generations that will benefit from Lake Ralph Hall, representatives assembled their respective logos onto a large wooden puzzle of the lake depicting the collaboration needed to build the lake and the many groups that will benefit from the project. Participants also brought items for a time capsule to represent the years during which the project was constructed.  

The event occurred on the same day UTRWD celebrated its 32nd anniversary —the conservation and reclamation district was created by the State of Texas on June 16, 1989. UTRWD serves approximately 325,000 residents in one of the fastest growing regions of North Texas.  

“An additional source of water is needed by the mid-2020’s to meet Upper Trinity’s anticipated water service demands,” Patterson explained. “Lake Ralph Hall is the most feasible and lowest cost source of new water available to Upper Trinity, and it can be built in time to avoid a water shortage.” 

The lake will be able to provide up to 54 million gallons per day of water (including reused water) for some 29 communities in Denton and Collin counties and a portion of Fannin County that lies within the Sulphur River Basin. The reservoir is scheduled to begin delivering water by 2026 and will provide recreational opportunities, such as fishing, boating, nature watching and hunting. 

Check out our video of the groundbreaking:
Lake Ralph Hall Groundbreaking Celebration
Temporary Ladonia Fossil Park Opening Early July  

The Ladonia Fossil Park on Highway 34 is expected to close on July 8th, 2021 to make way for Lake Ralph Hall construction. At the time when that park closes, Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) will open a temporary park on the east side of FM 2990 and north of the North Sulphur River to provide fossil hunters with access to the river bottom during construction of the new reservoir. This new location and access point will provide opportunities for additional and untapped fossil discoveries.  

The old Ladonia Fossil Park is located within the footprint of the new reservoir and will be inundated when the reservoir fills. Signage will be installed at the old location to direct fossil hunters to the new, temporary park.  

“Upper Trinity recognizes the importance of the Ladonia Fossil Park to the local community and visitors alike and we will work with the City of Ladonia to select a permanent location for the Ladonia Fossil Park, downstream of the reservoir where fossil hunters have easy access to the river bottom,” said Larry N. Patterson, Executive Director of Upper Trinity.   

Upper Trinity Regional Water District will also be working with paleontologists from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to preserve significant fossils should any be found during reservoir construction.  

Lake Ralph Hall Construction:
Next Steps  

Lake Ralph Hall has been decades in the making, and with the recent groundbreaking on June 16, 2021, Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) is getting underway on various key aspects of the project including:  

1. Opening the temporary Ladonia Fossil Park (see above for more details).

2. Beginning of road modifications and improvements (before end of year). This includes:
  • Relocating a portion of SH 34, including new bridges over the North Sulphur River and Merrill Creek .
  • Rerouting approximately 2.5 miles of FM 1550.  
  • Closing a portion of FM 2990 during construction.
  • Drilling for concrete piers supporting SH 34.
Roadway relocation and abandonments have been coordinated  with TxDOT and Fannin County. UTRWD will coordinate with its contractor Flatiron to minimize road impacts wherever possible throughout the construction process and  will respond timely to any roadway concerns.    

The project schedule estimates that it will take approximately three years to construct the project components . After the completed reservoir is filled, water delivery is anticipated to start in 2026.     

Regular construction updates, including road impacts, will be posted on the Lake Ralph Hall website. 

Leaving a Legacy for Our Communities 

Over 30 years ago, Mayor Leon Hurse led Ladonia leaders in a vision to build a lake near Ladonia to provide water and boost the local economy. Doug Franklin continued the charge for the lake following Mr. Hurse, and U.S. Congressman Ralph M. Hall forged the crucial connection between the City of Ladonia and Upper Trinity Regional Water District.  

In 2004, the Upper Trinity Regional Water District and City of Ladonia entered a formal partnership, making Leon Hurse, Doug Franklin and Ralph Hall’s vision a reality. The lake and it’s dam bear the name of two of these leaders to honor their legacy and foresight for future generations. 

Ralph Hall's family around the puzzle assembled by all those who contributed to make the lake project possible.   

Lake Ralph Hall In the News:

"Work begins on a $490 million project to help fill North Texas' water demand" 
Dallas Morning News, June 16, 2021 

"Proposed Lake Ralph Hall Could Ease Multiple Problems "
CBS Dallas, Channels 11/21, June 17, 2021    

"Ralph Hall Lake moving forward as future area water source "
Denton Record Chronicle – June 17, 2021  

"Ceremony celebrates groundbreaking for Lake Ralph Hall "
North Texas e-News, June 18, 2021 

Upper Trinity Regional
Water District

900 North Kealy Avenue
Lewisville, Texas 75067
(972) 219-1228
Lake Ralph Hall Office
10910 State Highway 34
Ladonia, Texas 75449
(903) 367-7008
Hours: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., M–F,
or by appointment
Copyright © 2021 Upper Trinity Regional Water District, All Rights Reserved.

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Lake Ralph Hall (UTRWD) · PO Box 305 · Lewisville, TX 75067-0305 · USA

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