SEGUIN, Texas – The facelift of Lake Dunlap Dam has made some major progress since a spill gate failure in May 2019.
Video caught the exact moment that a spill gate failed at Lake Dunlap, which caused the lake to drop 7 feet.
Since then, construction crews have been able to complete a temporary bridge upstream of the dam in the main river channel, which is being used for construction access.
The development of the emergency spillway is also nearing completion and a temporary cofferdam has been installed around one of the spill gate bays.
Officials with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) said they recovered aquatic species around one of the spill gates and also removed the bear-trap style spill gate.
GBRA and the Texas Water Development Board authorized construction to replace three bear-trap style crest gates with new hydraulically-actuated steel crest gates in May.
The project is expected to take 24 months, pending unforeseen weather delays, with a cost of approximately $35 million. Officials with the project noted that flooding events and other miscellaneous items may occur during construction and lead to additional costs.
A few months after the spill gate failure in 2019, GBRA announced that Lake Gonzales, Meadow Lake, Lake Placid and Lake McQueeney would all be drained amid concerns about aging dams.
At the time, GBRA General Manager and CEO Kevin Patteson said “we understand this is an unpopular decision, but one that we feel is unavoidable given the dangers associated with these dams.”
However, the dewatering of the lakes was put on hold after GBRA officials and local residents reached an agreement that allowed GBRA to maintain operating levels on each lake until work begins on the spill gate replacement and repairs on that lake’s dam.
GBRA officials said in a press release Wednesday that upcoming construction activities include dewatering the area below the existing concrete structure in one of the spill gate bays and excavating 15 feet down to add concrete for dam stability.