After other spillgate failures, GBRA limits access near McQueeney, Red Mill dams

Watercraft can't anchor, swimming not allowed in restricted zones

By Julie Moreno - Executive Producer/Social Media

GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas - The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is expanding the restricted zones near two dams following spillgate failures at two other aging dams.

Access will be restricted on Lake McQueeney from approximately 900 feet upstream of the dam to Highway 78 on Lake Placid below the dam.

Access will also be restricted on Lake Placid in Seguin upstream of the TP-4 Dam, also known as the Red Mill Dam.

No swimming will be permitted in the restricted zones, and watercraft will be prohibited from stopping or anchoring there.

The restricted areas will be marked with buoys, and law enforcement will be enforcing the rules.

“In the interest of safety, GBRA is further restricting access near McQueeney Dam and TP-4,” said Kevin Patterson, GBRA general manager. “We fully appreciate the significance of the lakes in the lives of the community and visiting recreationalists; however, with the aging infrastructure of the dams, we believe this is the best course of action to protect the public.”

Last Tuesday, a spillgate collapsed at the 91-year-old dam on Lake Dunlap. As a result, water rushed out of the lake at a rate of 11,000 cubic feet per second.

Watch exact moment of partial dam failure at Lake Dunlap

A similar incident happened at Lake Wood, west of Gonzales, in 2016.

GBRA officials say after meeting with engineers, they determined the spillgates at all of the aging dams in the area need to be replaced with a more modern gate system. Design plans are currently in the works for Lake Wood, according to the GBRA.

Read: GBRA: Spill gate replacements at Lake Dunlap, Lake Wood will take years

Improvements are estimated to take two to three years and cost $15 million to 35 million per dam. Officials say GBRA revenues alone cannot support that cost and they're looking for additional support.

Video of spillgate failure at Lake Dunlap:

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