KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — A dam in Kyle is at high risk of failing, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, so they have ordered it to be rebuilt. After two major flood events this year, residents say it is just in time.
The Site 6 dam was originally built in 1967. Johnie Halliburton, the Executive Director of the Plum Creek Conservation District, says the dam was built to protect small farms and at the time, a much smaller population. With the recent population boom in Kyle, TCEQ has marked the Site 6 dam as not adequate enough to protect all of the new homes and businesses below the dam.
The dam sits right on Goforth Road in Kyle, and looks like one big hill. That will change come Jan. 4, 2017.
“We are going to do away with the auxiliary spillway that goes around the structure that will just be part of the dam. Now, the exit channel for the floodwater will go across the top of the dam through what we call a concrete labryinth and go across go a concrete apron, and on down back into Porter Creek into a plunge basin that will eventually end up in Plum Creek,” Halliburton explains.
The new design should help engineers control the speed and direction of the water. Currently, during an overflow situation, the water runs off the side, but the design will direct the water straight to the creek.
The changes should bring the dam up to state standards. State rules require the dam to be able to hold back at least 75 percent of the probable maximum flood for the area—the current Plum Creek Site 6 Dam only reaches 52 percent, which means water is likely to breach the dam and flood nearby homes. The new design is projected to withstand 100 percent of the probable maximum flood for the area.
The project is expected to take a year to finish. Goforth Road will be closed Jan. 4, 2016 until April 2017 during the construction period. During this time the City of Kyle will also be realigning the road to make it straight and eliminate any curves.