Hungry feral hogs and deer are creating an erosion problem at Lake Alan Henry’s earthen dam that Lubbock officials say will cost up to $4 million to repair.
Mayor Glen Robertson said by phone Tuesday irrigated green grass along the dry side of the earthen John T. Montford Dam has proven irresistible to hogs, deer and other wildlife looking for food in the midst of hot, dry weather.
“The feral hogs in that area came in and started rooting around,” Robertson said. “When the rain falls it’s created trenches.”
The grass planted to prevent erosion of the 3,600-foot-long dam holding back one of the city’s main water sources is indirectly producing minor erosion on its own, prompting the city to seek contractors willing to fix the problem.
A request for proposal released this month by the city seeks to restore the dam back to its original slope on the dry side of the structure, repairing erosion problems and other maintenance issues noted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and to apply a system to protect the dam against future erosion, according to a copy of the request.
“Right now we’re truly in the preventative maintenance stage,” Robertson said, adding there are no structural or safety concerns about the dam’s integrity.
The project also will involve the removal of all vegetation on the dry side of the dam. The city is taking proposals through Oct. 11 and the City Council will vote on the contract in November.
Councilman Victor Hernandez said the council was last briefed on the dam erosion concerns about one year ago and the problem has not improved since.