Hill Country

Canyon Lake continues fight to open scenic dam walkway

CANYON LAKE, Texas (KXAN) — Those who love Canyon Lake are still fighting to get the walkway over the dam reopened to the public.  

Last month it was closed due to safety concerns after a complaint was filed stating it's not accessible for those in wheelchairs. 

Dam operators claim they would have to do extensive construction to make the dam safe, such as widening the road and possibly adding a guardrail along the entire path.  

The complaint was filed through the Architectural Barriers Act. A spokesperson tells KXAN the complainant never had the intention of shutting down the entire walkway, adding the only change requested is for the gate to be widened so a wheelchair can fit through.  

In just over two weeks more than 18,000 people have signed an online petition asking for the dam to be reopened. 

On Friday morning Comal County leaders and Canyon Lake Dam operators met to discuss the future of the walkway in a closed-door meeting. Jen Crownover, a Comal County commissioner says the meeting was productive. 

"Everybody really is united behind a solution and I think the solution will enrich the dam for everybody to use safely," said Crownover. 

Crownover says the county engineer, members of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, members of the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County and a representative from Senator John Cornyn's office were all in attendance. 

The group discussed what kind of changes need to be made to re-open the dam walkway. Some of those changes include the modification of the gate to allow wheelchair access, modifications to the parking area and a safety rail stretching the length of the dam. 

Crownover believes it will take at least a month for the Corp of Engineers to develop the plans, then they must come up with the funding to make the changes. Crownover says they will have to depend heavily on community donations. 

"We will need the help, we will need members of the community to step up," said Crownover. "We're very, very excited that there's a solution in sight. When you have government involved it inevitably slows it down some, but we are working really hard on getting this done."

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