GBRA looking for safety solutions after Lake Dunlap spillgate collapse

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Following a spillgate failure captured on video at Lake Dunlap in May, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) is looking for solutions to mitigate safety risks at its four remaining hydroelectric lakes.

The GBRA board of directors discussed options such as significantly lowering lakes McQueeney, Placid, Meadow and Gonzales by up to 12 feet at Wednesday's board meeting.

“While no decision was made today regarding the best way to ensure public safety on the lakes, GBRA’s concerns remain,” GBRA general manager Kevin Patteson said. “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.

GBRA in a release said the six hydroelectric dams were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s and are at the end of their useful life.

The board did vote to do additional engineering inspections at Lake Dunlap to determine the cause of the spillgate collapse and how that information could be applied to the other dams' spillgates.

GBRA says it will continue to work with county and state law enforcement on public safety strategies to reduce the risk of danger to people on the lakes and public notice will be provided in advance before any changes to lake level elevations.