BALMORHEA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An iconic spring-fed swimming pool in West Texas that closed last year for repairs has reopened following $2 million in upgrades.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on Friday announced Balmorhea State Park’s pool is open to the public again.
The pool was built in the 1930s by the federal Civilian Conservation Corps and is fed by San Solomon Springs. The pool closed last May following a partial collapse during cleaning. Experts blamed erosion linked to flow from the springs.
The site, touted as the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, is located 120 miles southwest of Midland. The 3.5 million-gallon pool is up to 25 feet deep.
Donations helped pay for the repairs.
“We are thrilled to have the pool at Balmorhea open once again. The pool is a natural wonder that is enjoyed by visitors far and wide,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks in a press release. “This renowned desert oasis is not only important for our West Texas community but for all of Texas. The work done during this project will help preserve this unique aquatic habitat for generations of Texans to enjoy.”
According to the release, the project included the creation of cofferdams, salvaging of the historic diving board and brick around the pool edge and demolition of concrete around the diving board area. In addition officials said an existing distressed wall and backfill was removed, a new footing foundation was installed, backfill was replaced and a new wall was constructed.
Cofferdams were constructed in the pool to ensure the protection of the endangered species and maintain water flow in the canals throughout construction.