The local building blocks of Lake Ralph Hall
By Upper Trinity Regional Water District
Dec 31, 2023
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Fannin County, Texas -- A lot of material goes into building a lake—especially concrete. Just ask Tim Foley, General Superintendent of Hope Concrete, a local contractor based out of Commerce and Bonham, TX. His team has delivered more than 1500 loads of concrete to date, and will deliver around 750-1000 more for various project components from building new roads to the dam and pump station.
Hope Concrete has served north central Texas for just over 75 years and is a family business started by Foley’s grandfather.
“We supply all the material to Archer Western and Granite to build all the structures for the reservoir,” Foley explained. “Both of those companies have been customers of ours for 25+ years.”
His team of around 30 local workers drives ready-mix trucks 12-15 miles to the lake site and provides on-site quality control and assistance as Archer Western and the lake’s other contractors pour the concrete for various parts of the project. Daily loads vary from five to 50 or more, depending on project requirements. Local Coston & Son Ready Mix in Paris, TX works with Hope Concrete for extra back-up on especially large pours.
“They have been super helpful because some of the placements have required so much concrete at once,” Foley shared.
Hope Concrete is glad to work on a project with partners they value and “because it’s in our part of the world,” Foley said. “We’ll all use that lake sometime because we all live around it.”

Hope Concrete delivering material onsite at Lake Ralph Hall.

A pump station takes shape

Many key pieces of the Lake Ralph Hall project have taken shape this year—from dam and spillway to pipeline, which is now being laid. Case in point is the pump station, which broke ground late January. The station will pump water from Lake Ralph through miles of pipeline to treatment.

Construction on the pump station has made significant headway, especially this fall, with the foundation and the pump room walls complete. Crews have begun installing the station’s foundational electric components in preparation of placing the electrical room slab.

The station’s massive pumps, interior pipes and electrical components are being manufactured. Some pipe has arrived to connect the station to the lake’s intake structure, and that will be laid out along its future route. The pump station is on schedule for completion with the rest of the lake project.

RES clears the way for Lake Ralph Hall

Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC’s (RES's) local North Texas team is finishing the clearing and grubbing of around 700 acres in the footprint of future Lake Ralph Hall. RES’s team started full-time clearing in January 2023 and will finish early next year. In addition to removing fencing, trees and grass from the reservoir footprint, they are gathering and saving wood for around 210 fish habitat structures that Texas Parks and Wildlife will form and place to improve lake fishing.
While RES itself isn’t based out of North Texas, the company has developed a strong team of locally hired workers and relies on local partners to help serve the northern Texas and Oklahoma areas. The six workers clearing at Lake Ralph Hall were originally hired to help with mitigation for Bois d’Arc Lake. Upper Trinity’s project has given them an opportunity to continue working in their own communities. Many of the team members live within 30 miles of the future lake, with several in Bonham and one in neighboring Bug Tussle, TX.
“We wanted to keep them busy near home if possible. These are full-time RES employees and have been with RES for four years since we started working in the area,” explained RES Project Manager Daniel Kampfer. “Working on Lake Ralph Hall allows them to stay near home for another year—able to be with their families at the end of every day. It worked out perfectly.”
In addition to hiring locally, RES has been intentional to partner locally as well.
“We use local vendors to help us with fuel and tools,” Kampfer shared. “We get our fuel from McCraw Oil & Propane based in Bonham. The Honey Grove Co-op supplies us miscellaneous tools and various things you might need for an excavator.”
Kampfer’s team looks forward to seeing Lake Ralph Hall finished and is grateful for their ongoing local partnerships. “It’s been a great opportunity to work on both lakes that are new here to North Texas.”