A trail that loops around Lake Bella Vista has a portion closed because of a hole that was caused by last month’s rain storm.
The Benton County Road Department is expected to temporarily fix the site by filling up the hole on top of the dam and repairing the concrete on the spillways in a week or two, said Ben Peters, Bentonville’s city engineer. That portion of the trail has been closed since Aug. 8.
The trail is used for walking, running and biking.
Bud Branham walks the trail every day. He said he is disappointed that he can’t walk the full loop, and just goes half-way and then comes back.
“It’s a big inconvenience because we come out here to get exercise, me and everybody else,” he said. “And it seems like every time it rains, it gets shut down. It hasn’t been shut down this long before.”
A woman from Texas was driving home from vacation and decided to stop at Lake Bella Vista and take a bike ride around the trail.
“This is a great area. It’s a great tourist area, and I think it could bring a lot of people to bring their bikes here and stop and take a tour around the lake on trips,” she said. “It’s kind of sad that it’s still sitting there broken.”
Peters said that the dam was not built to handle the large amounts of rain that Benton County has experienced recently.
The earthen dam was built in 1915, by collecting dirt between two concrete spillways to hold water in the lake.
The City of Bentonville received approval to build a new dam in 2011. The project will be federally funded and is estimated to cost around $3.6 million. It is still in the planning stages.