A popular road over Lake Grapevine dam has been closed for the next several months because recent heavy rains have washed out a large swath of soil on the earthen reservoir barrier.
The road, known as Fairway Drive, likely will remain closed until early 2019, according to officials with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Fairway Drive connects Grapevine’s downtown and resort areas to Flower Mound and is used by about 7,000 vehicles per day, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The road also is the main route to many attractions, including the 27-hole Grapevine Municipal Golf Course, Cowboys Golf Club and lakeside parks and marinas.
The affected area of the dam is about 90 feet long. The displaced soil was exposed to the open air on Thursday, but when rain is in the forecast it is covered by a giant plastic tarp to prevent further erosion, said Clayton Church, spokesman for the corps of engineers, which manages the lake.
The damage was done by a “shallow slide” of soil that hasn’t yet reached the Fairway Drive pavement, but eventually will if repairs aren’t made, he said.
“A shallow slide would be similar to what you see along a highway where the soil has separated and slid down the side of an embankment. It does not go all the way down to the foundation but still requires attention,” Church said. “The slides at Grapevine were first observed earlier this year when we had the real wet February but then the six days of rain we just experienced caused additional concern to the area and the decision was made to close the road now to ensure the structural integrity of the dam and road are maintained.”
A similar phenomenon occurred along Fairway Drive after heavy rains in 2016.
Fairway Drive also has many cracks on its pavement, and those will also be repaired while the road is closed, Church said. Crews working for the corps or Grapevine also will take core samples of the road to make sure there are no unseen damages below the surface, he said.
Until the road reopens, motorists wishing to travel between Grapevine and Flower Mound will be detoured to Texas 26 and Farm Road 2499, according to a Grapevine city Facebook page.
Access to Grapevine Municipal Golf Course and Rockledge Park is available only from the northern part of Fairway Drive (for traffic on the Flower Mound side of the lake heading south). From Grapevine, northbound traffic will be allowed to drive to Silver Lake Marina and Cowboys Golf Club, but no farther.
Although the corps of engineers is overseeing the project, Grapevine city crews will keep drivers updated by using electronic message boards on Texas 26.