Houston Public Works has completed the Lake Houston Dam Maintenance project. This project began in May 2019 and was completed August 21. The estimated cost of construction was $10 million and was funded through Coastal Water Authority's (CWA) Special Equity funds, designated specifically for City of Houston infrastructure improvements. No funds from the City of Houston budget were used on this project.
The Lake Houston Spillway Dam Rehabilitation Project provides increased stability to the dam through the installation of a new reinforced concrete training wall. This project also includes partial demolition of a splitter wall, which is the device used to break up the flow of water over the spillway. Contractors with Thalle Construction Company built new concrete anchor blocks at the bottom of the training wall and elevated the Ogee and Stilling pool weirs by seven feet, altering the water flow from the spillway.
Throughout this project, property owners endured varying levels on Lake Houston for over a year. We are incredibly grateful for the patience exhibited by property owners over this period of time. The rehabilitation project objectives of raising the elevation of two downstream weirs and improving hydraulic outflows were successfully completed. CWA has transitioned back to the normal gate operations protocol and management of the Lake at the normal pool water surface elevation of 42.5 feet has resumed.
The Lake will be allowed to refill itself over the next few months through future rain events. Please keep in mind fluctuations in lake level can be attributed to evaporation, which we are highly susceptible to during hot summer days. Evaporation rates can occur up to .5 inches per day and in months without rain evaporation can result in lake level loss of one foot.
It is important to not, this maintenance project does not include construction of additional gates on the Lake Houston Spillway Dam. The Lake Houston Dam Spillway Gate Improvement Project, which does seek to add flood gates to the Lake Houston Spillway Dam is nearing completion of phase one. Phase one includes Hydrology and Hydraulic modeling, engineering analysis, permit acquisition, project drawings and completions of project documents. It is expected for phase one to be submitted to FEMA for review later this year.
Mayor Pro Tem Martin has worked diligently with federal partners to secure support for the Lake Houston Dam Spillway Gate Improvement Project. This much needed resiliency project would not be possible without the active support of Congressman Dan Crenshaw.