Mansfield Dam Floodgate Repairs are Underway, for the first time in it’s 70-year history


Mansfield Dam Floodgate repairs are underway, for the first time in it’s 70-year history
The LCRA’s latest 10 million dollar-10 year project to overhaul the Mansfield dam is well underway. Why? As Lakes Buchanan and Travis are at around 35% capacity now it is hard to imagine that a possible flood is coming. The last time all the floodgates were open was near the Christmas of 1991.

However the LCRA is preparing the Mansfield dam and other dams of the Higland Lakes for flooding. According to VP Ryan Rowney of water operations at the LCRA states to Community Impact Newsletter “It is going to flood again. History tells us that, and we are getting ready for it.” Mansfield Dam was completed in 1942, and has never had a major overhaul. Rowney states “We do regular maintenance of the floodgates every 42 days or so, we are very diligent about maintenance.”

So what will this overhaul look like? According to Rowney’s statements made to Community Impact Newsletter it will go something like this.

First each 50,000-pound floodgate that is underwater each must be capped before it can be removed. With an extremely restricted area inside the dam the gates are manually hoisted 1/8 of an inch with every 4-foot pull of the original chain lifts, energy services mechanic Eric Spurlock said. This requires them to be removed and repaired one at a time. Each gate costs $600,000 and it takes at least six to eight months to repair just one.

The other 23 gates will stay operational in the isolated chance that there is an earlier flood. Local water prices will not be affected as the repairs are underway according to VP Rowney. Most of the repair work will be done at LCRA facilities.


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