Local News

Lake LBJ Refill Causes Fear for Some Over What Lies Beneath the Water

By  | 

We hate spam too, we'll never share your email address

 

 

Crews from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) are now refilling Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in an effort to commence with upcoming projects. The lake was lowered in December of 2018, following the historic flooding that took place in the fall, to allow residents along its edge to make repairs and remove debris. However, area businesses felt that if the lake level didn’t increase soon, they ran the risk of missing out on crowds which would come to the area for spring break. As a result of the refill, Lake LBJ levels are slowly on the rise, but some residents are concerned that there hasn’t been ample time to complete the cleanup, and possible incidents of accidents or injury could increase with respect to submerged debris.

Lake LBJ Refill Causes Fear for Some Over What Lies Beneath the Water

Photo: Instagram/gavinj_fxbb

In particular, those who live near Kingsland have spoken about the cost and stress from the cleanup, which they argue has been intensified with the closure of the bridge on Ranch Road 2900. With its collapse, area travelers are required to take new routes, which are taking them up to a half-hour for what previously took them just minutes.

One Kingsland resident told kxan.com that he and his neighbors are concerned Lake LBJ is being refilled too soon. “We don’t have the adequate time to remove all the debris in front of the properties– we’re talking about properties that are million dollar homesites on the lake — and with that shortness of time that we have now to remove that debris, a lot of the debris is not gonna get removed,” Brad Shaw noted. That concern is based on the potential for debris beneath the increased water level to possibly result in injury to locals and tourists who make use of the waterway.

Lake LBJ Refill Causes Fear for Some Over What Lies Beneath the Water

Photo: Instagram/gavinj_fxbb

“It’s just that no one has been able to go up and down the entire length of the river on an individual basis to find out where hazards might be or where they are,” Shaw told kxan.com. The adverse impact that repair and reconstruction efforts have had on the local economy has been compounded by the bridge closure, with some businesses reporting at least a 30 percent drop as compared to prior years. However, safety is of the highest concern, as any incidents could result in a negative chain reaction throughout the community.

Lake LBJ Refill Causes Fear for Some Over What Lies Beneath the Water

Photo: Instagram/toddcpannell

In the meantime, as Lake LBJ levels rise, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to conduct debris removal along the shoreline as well as places where it’s been noted that pieces of the Ranch Road 2900 bridge have been seen under the water. Their crews will be working with the LCRA in that respect. Terry McCoy, District Engineer for TxDOT Austin, told kxan.com that the refill of Lake LBJ is what will make it possible for them to remove debris along the shoreline, since their barges and cranes require more water in order to do the job. It’s also the intent of the crews to open the new RM 2900 bridge by April, including a nearby boat lane to allow for boaters to maneuver through construction. At present, since debris and divers could be present, boaters are being asked to avoid the area. The hope is that the cleanup and construction will once again boost the local economy, but that the process doesn’t result in anyone getting injured on debris still submerged in the water.