The original city of Bridgeport was located on the banks of the West Fork of the Trinity River. The city and areas along the river received periodic heavy rains which resulted in flooding. The river changed channels now and then and old river beds can be seen when flying along the river. In April of 1922 a flood on the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River caused heavy damage to the city of Fort Worth. As a result of this flood the Tarrant County Water Conservation Association was formed to investigate how to conserve and use the flow of water passing through the area. Two years later the Tarrant County Water Improvement District Number One was created. Studies by the firm of Hawley and Freese recommended that two dams be constructed, Lake Bridgeport and Eagle Mountain, to impound the flood waters and to prevent future flooding of the city of Fort Worth.
[An enlarged photo can be viewed by clicking on each photo. The photos were obtained by permission from the Tarrant County Water District. Jo Gilbreath of the Bridgeport Index processed the images. The photos are examples of the construction of the Lake Bridgeport Dam in the 1929 through 1931.]
In the fall of 1927, the firm of Hawley and Freese was contracted to design and supervise the construction of the two reservoirs. The supervision of the construction of the Lake Bridgeport Dam was assigned to, Marvin Nichols, a new member of the Hawley and Freese firm. Marvin Nichols became a partner in the firm in 1928 and the company name was changed to Hawley, Freese & Nichols in 1930. Today the firm is Freese and Nichols Consulting Engineers.
The Bridgeport reservoir was built to have a flood control capacity of 580,000 acre-feet and conservation capacity of 290,000 acre feet. The dam was constructed by the wetted and rolled fill method with materials placed in layers approximately twelve inches thick and then thoroughly wetted and rolled to ensure proper compaction of the mass. The original service spillway had three 20-foot bays, two equipped with vertical lift gates and the third left open. The outlet conduits in the bottom of the dam were equpped with 48-inch valves, two in each conduit.

In 1969, the service spillway was eliminated and replaced with a 90-foot spillway equipped with eight roller lift gates, 11.25 feet by 22 feet high. The conservation pool was raised from 826 to 836 feet mean sea-level. The pool capacity was increased to 366,236 acre-feet.

Lake Spillway 1989
To learn more about the lake visit the Tarrant County Water Districts web site:, A Century In The Works, Freese and Nichols Consulting Engineers 1894-1994, Texas A&M University Press, College Station,Texas and The Bridgeport Index "Lake Bridgeport 75th Anniversary Edition 2006".

Map-Lake Bridgeport

courtesy of Google

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