LCRA spends more than $50 million in upgrades to Buchanan Dam

Hill Country

Buchanan dam on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Credit to Lower Colorado River Authority.
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HILL COUNTRY, Texas (KXAN) — The floodgates of Buchanan Dam were recently refurbished by the Lower Colorado River Authority. The $51.1 million dollar project that took over a decade to complete involved extensive rehabilitation work to the original 1930s-era floodgates.

The dam has a total of 37 floodgates and work was performed on only a few at a time so that it was still able to respond to flooding at any time.

In addition to strengthening each floodgate, the construction team added 30 remote-operated hoists that allow the LCRA to open the floodgates more quickly, previously crews had to do this task manually.

The LCRA is in charge of dams in the Flash Flood Alley, an area characterized by shallow soil and unusually high rainfall. In this region, heavy rains can quickly turn into potentially destructive walls of fast-moving water.

“We have to stay vigilant and ready to protect the water supply and respond to flooding at any time, and a significant part of that effort involved keeping our dams in excellent condition. We are fully committed to keeping our dams safe and reliable to continue serving the people of Texas,” said Phil Wilson, the LCRA general manager.

Buchanan Dam is the uppermost dam in the Highland Lakes. The dam is 145.5 feet high and stretches almost two miles long. It is one of the longest multiple arch dams in the world.

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