HARLINGEN — The city’s small lakes at the soccer and sports complexes, as well as at Pendleton Park, are getting bigger.
And that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Heavy rains which raise the water levels in the small lakes are washing away the edges, with yards and yards of dirt cleaving off the lake banks and slowly disintegrating into the water.
So far no damage to infrastructure like sidewalks or benches sunk in concrete have occurred at any of the three parks, but Parks and Recreation Department officials are aware of the issue and are working to come up with solutions.
“We either go in there and we dredge it and we build a retaining wall, or we leave it the way it is and just deal with it,” Javier Mendez, parks and recreation director, said yesterday. “One thing we did talk about, Mando (Parks Superintendent Armando Villela) and I, is trying something like building retaining walls around our lakes.
“Pendleton is growing, the one at the sports complex the same thing,” he said. “It’s so shallow at the edge it would be a real simple project for us. We just need money.”
At the Harlingen Soccer Complex located at 4515 E. Harrison Ave., large slices of the lake bank have sloughed off into the water. While the anchored benches around the lake can be re-located easily, the more substantial roofed picnic pavilions will be more of an issue.
“There are two methods that I think would be easy for us,” Mendez said. “They sell those like vinyl planks and it looks like a ‘W’ almost. You set those in the ground, you drive them in, and they all key together. You drive the other one right next to it and they interlock and you would put it all the way around the lake.
“The other thing would be if you did it out of wood, drove pilings down and filled in the back, you have to do the same thing with the vinyl pilings, but either one would work,” he added
Part of the reason for the erosion problem is the city’s dominant soil. The clay-type sediments can quickly dry out and are prone to splitting, which appears to be the case along the banks of the city’s lakes.