The Dallas Wave

Sunday I hiked the mile or so from the Corinth DART station down through the Trinity River Bottoms on the new Santa Fe Trestle trail. Underneath the new/old bridge is another feature, the contentious Dallas Wave.

You see, in its constant struggle to become… what?… a real city, Dallas decided as part of its plans for developing the Trinity River Bottoms to put in a whitewater feature.

The Dallas Wave with a DART train going by overhead... and the skyline in the background. (click to enlarge)

Before it gets to the artificial rapids of the Dallas Wave the Trinity is a lazy, calm stretch of flat water.

The whitewater of the Dallas Wave with the lighted ball of Reunion Tower in the background.

The water is very high from recent rains - at least four feet above normal. The Standing Wave is almost completely drowned.

BTW, those of you in remote locales who might be wondering what I’m talking about – there’s a very familiar piece of footage I’m sure you have seen. The first few seconds of this introduction features a flyover of the Trinity River Bottoms.

At any rate, the city went ahead and put in their whitewater – basically sticking a couple of concrete dams and walls into the otherwise calm and lazy Trinity. The results don’t bode too well – the rest of the development is stalled for a decade or so because of Federal Regulations promulgated after Katrina. The Standing Wave was constructed and it ended up costing millions of dollars more than planned.

And now, the thing is closed. It turns out that it is too fast and dangerous for canoes to run. The sport kayakers seem happy with the thing, but other folks seem to think it’s a deathtrap.

Now that I’ve seen it in person, I have no opinion. The river was so high the lower wave was completely submerged and the upper wave mostly so. The water looked to be at least four feet deeper than in most of the photographs I’ve seen. It looked like a bunch of fast but navigable rapids to me.

So we’ll see. The lawsuits will fly, the construction will finish, and the water will keep on flowing. The river will always be the same, although with constantly different water.

Trinity River Project’s Standing Wave: Great, Now City Hall’s Trying to Kill Us

The Trinity River’s ‘Standing Wave’ Crashes into Reality

Drowning the Whistleblower on the Doomed Trinity River Wave

Dallas Wave park raises wasteful spending debate

$3.9M Dallas Wave Wipes Out

Dallas Wave whitewater park on the Trinity remains in limbo

Wave goodbye to the Dallas Wave opening

Despite all this, the Kayaking community have been enjoying the Dallas Wave for a year.

Pre-Super Bowl Party on the Dallas Standing Wave

Dallas paddlers get a taste of the Trinity River standing wave

Trinity Park Standing Wave Kayak Course