by Paula Bosse
Underneath Cole Park (which is behind North Dallas High School and between Cole and McKinney), is a “storm water detention vault” — a cavernous space where storm water runoff goes when the capacity of the Mill Creek storm sewer system has been exceeded. It can hold 71 million gallons of storm water. …71 million gallons!
Completed in 1993, the vault’s 13 chambers, each of which rises five stories tall and runs the length of more than two football fields, are designed to fill with water during extreme rainfall. These massive vaults capture the storm water from Central Expressway and slowly release it into Turtle Creek via the Mill Creek Outfall by the footbridge in William B. Dean Park (next to the Kalita Humphrey Theater).
I had no idea that Dallas had anything like this until I saw the short film, below, in which Gilbert Aguilar, Assistant Director of the City of Dallas’ Department of Street Services, takes us on a tour of the “detention vault.” This is an absolutely mind-blowing look at something very, very few Dallasites know about. The City of Dallas probably wouldn’t be willing to grant access to movie-makers, but, seriously, this would make an INCREDIBLE movie set — perhaps less aesthetically appealing than the sewers of Vienna featured in The Third Man, but what it lacks in character it makes up for in sheer gigantic-ness.
The video, “Living With the Trinity: Cole Park Vault,” is on YouTube, here. Though not credited in the video itself, it is, presumably, a production of local filmmaker, Mark Birnbaum, whose website is here.
Top image is a screengrab from the video.
Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.