Trees to be removed from Lake Fayetteville dam

Four fishermen cast lines into Lake Fayetteville Friday morning just east of the paved trail atop the lake’s dam.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The Lake Fayetteville dam will look a little different by the end of the summer.

Crews are scheduled to soon begin removing 19 established sycamore trees on the east side of the paved trail that runs along the dam between the marina and spillway bridge.

Tim Nyander, the city’s utilities director, said the trees pose a threat to the integrity of the dam, and must be removed.

“Growth of the trees’ roots into the dam could lead to “piping” (an erosion process) failure,” Nyander said. “As water is carried through a dam, it slowly takes material from the dam core with it, threatening the structural integrity.”

Nyander said during high water levels, the root balls of the sycamore trees are under water, and could be blown over under high winds causing immediate dam failure.

“These dangers pose a risk to all people, property, homes, and businesses downstream of the dam,” he said.

According to a news release, the Lake Fayetteville dam is already classified as a high-risk dam by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. The classification is given to all dams in the state that could lead to a loss of human life if they were to fail, the release states.

No specific schedule has been set for when the work will begin.

For more information, contact the Fayetteville Utilities Department at 479-575-8386.

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