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This water supply project of the Sabine River Authority of Texas is located on the Sabine River immediately above the old Iron Bridge Crossing on FM 47, about 10 miles northeast of Wills Point, Texas. The reservoir inundates land in Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties. A permit for project construction was issued by the State Board of Water Engineers on December 20, 1955. Land acquisition was initiated in 1956 and completed in October 1960. Construction on the dam began in January 1958 and was completed in October 1960.
Dam and Spillway
The Iron Bridge Dam, which lies partially in Van Zandt County and partially in Rains County, consists of a rolled-earth embankment with an ungated concrete spillway. Total length of the dam, including the spillway, is approximately 5.5 miles. The embankment has a maximum height of 75 feet at stream bed and a crest width of 22 feet. The upstream slope of the embankment is protected from erosion by stone riprap. The ungated concrete spillway is 480 feet in length with a crest elevation of 437.5 feet above mean sea level. Contained in the spillway structure are two 4 feet by 6 feet low-flow outlets and two 20-inch discharge pipes equipped with regulating valves. The design discharge of the spillway is 50,000 cubic feet per second.
Construction of the Iron Bridge Dam and Reservoir Project was funded through a water supply agreement with the City of Dallas to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. The reservoir storage capacity at 437.5 feet mean sea level conservation pool level is 926,000 acre-feet (302 billion gallons). The dependable annual yield of the reservoir is approximately 238,100 acre-feet per year (213 million gallons per day).
The Sabine River rises in northern Hunt County and eastern Collin and Rockwall Counties and flows easterly to the Texas Louisiana boundary near Logansport, Louisiana, thence southerly to the Gulf of Mexico at Orange, Texas, a distance of about 515 river miles below the dam site. The Sabine River drains an area of about 9,756 square miles, of which 752 square miles are above the Iron Bridge Dam. Principle tributaries above the dam are South Fork, Caddo Creek, and Cowleech Fork. It is these tributary watershed that go together to form the oak-leaf shaped basin in which Lake Tawakoni is formed. The surface are of the reservoir at spillway crest is about 36,7000 acres. Of this area, 23,400 acres are in Hunt County, 10,600 acres are in Rains County and 2,700 acres are in Van Zandt County.
Annual rainfall over the Lake Tawakoni basin averages 39.5 inches, although it has varied from a recorded maximum of 63.7 inches in 1946 to a recorded minimum of 17.6 inches in 1910.
In addition to its use for water supply, Lake Tawakoni has become an important recreation center. Its shoreline at spillway crest, totaling approximately 200 miles in length, offers extensive opportunities for recreational activities. Both private and public facilities have been installed around the lakeshore for swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing, duck hunting, and other uses. Certain areas around the reservoir are particularly adapted for summer homes, resorts, and clubs. For more information, please see the Sabine Basin Recreation Guide entry for Lake Tawakoni.
P.O. Box 310
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|This page requested on 1/25/2015 at 3:14:55 PM CST|
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