If you like to spend time at Veterans lake, you’ll want to read this. In July, the area around the lake will close for dam repairs. Apparently, they’re badly needed. The lake will be open for the holiday weekend, but will shut down shortly after. The following text is from the Chickasaw national Recreation Area…
Lake area to be closed
The Veterans Lake area of Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s Platt Historic District will close to the public on July 19. The closure of the area will allow for two major construction projects to occur. The expected duration of the closure is six to nine months.
In conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation, the primary project will be a rehabilitation of the Veterans Lake Dam, intended to bring the dam into compliance with modern safety standards. The second project is the construction of the north shore portion of the Veterans Lake Trail, including a new west trailhead parking area. The North Shore trail will be approximately one mile long and be placed between the North Shore Road and the shoreline, with a connecting trail to Rock Creek Campground. The road across the dam and the parking lot at the south end of the dam will be removed and a trail and new parking lot at the north end of the dam will be built as a replacement.
During construction, access to the Veterans Lake area and the Southwest Perimeter Road will be closed from U.S. 177 to Rock Creek Campground. No access will be available to the Bromide Hill parking area, the north trailhead of the Rock Creek Multi-use trail, the Veterans Lake Trail and the Veterans Lake Pavilion during this time.
Incident highlights need for repairs
A recent incident underscores the need for the scheduled rehabilitation of the dam. On June 18, park staff documented a visible slump on the roadway along the top of the Veterans Lake Dam. Essential personnel were notified, and the area was closed. In accordance with established plans the siphon drain was opened and the lake level was lowered. On the morning of June 19, park staff conducted an inspection of the visible portions of the dam to identify the problem. A plan was then developed to determine the cause of the deformity. On June 20, a Bureau of Reclamation engineer investigated and the site was stabilized until the rehabilitation project begins next month. The dam section of Veterans Lake and the lower road was later reopened.
Park Superintendent Bruce Noble said, “Visitors will have access to Veterans Lake and its facilities through the July 4 holiday. When completed, these projects will create a safer and more enjoyable area within the park for visitors to use for many years to come.”