After Lake Dunlap spillgate collapse, safety solutions yet to be determined

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SEGUIN, Texas (KXAN) — After the spillgate at Lake Dunlap collapsed in May over suspected aging materials, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is still discussing ways to reduce safety risks for those in the water at its other hydroelectric lakes.

At a recent meeting, the authority’s board of directors discussed an option to significantly lower the lakes by up to 12 feet, but no option was decided.

“While no decision was made today regarding the best way to ensure public safety on the lakes, GBRA’s concerns remain,” said Kevin Patteson, GBRA general manager Wednesday. “The video of the Dunlap spillgate collapse validates our concerns, and we are not willing to risk lives should there be another spillgate failure.”

In addition to Lake Dunlap, GBRA experienced a spillgate failure at Lake Wood in 2016. The six hydroelectric dams were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and are, according to GBRA, at the end of their useful life.

The board of directors did vote to conduct additional engineering inspections at Lake Dunlap in an effort to identify the cause and point of failure of the spillgate collapse and how that information can be applied to the gates at the other hydro dams.

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