Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Video | 91-year-old dam collapses in Texas

dam collapse crop

A 91-year-old dam in Texas, United States, has collapsed, draining a 170ha resevoir in a matter of minutes. 

US river authorities have blamed ageing structural steel for the collapse of one of the dam’s spillgates. The collapse caused the depth of Lake Dunlap to plunge by more than two metres. 

The exact cause has yet to be determined, but a similar collapse of a spillgate at Lake Wood, Texas, in 2016 was caused by a failure of structural steel members inside the gate.  

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) general manager Kevin Patteson said repairs to the structures were dependant on sourcing millions of dollars of funding.  

“We recognise the value of Lake Dunlap to the community. GBRA is committed to finding a solution to replace the spillgates at all of our aging dams,” he said.  

“The ability to move forward with construction at Lake Dunlap, Lake Wood, and the other dams is dependent on securing funding for these multi-year, multi-million dollar projects.” 

After the gate failure at Lake Wood, GBRA engaged consulting engineers to determine the most feasible solution for repairing or replacing the spillgates in the hydroelectric system. The decision has been taken to upgrade all the ageing spillgates with modern replacements.  

The video below shows the now-virtually empty lake. 

The programme would cost $15M (£11M) per dam and the GBRA is looking to source this from through state and federal budgets.  

Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.