by Hunter Croan
on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024 at 7:05am.
It’s no secret that the dams controlling some of our favorite Texas lakes have been in need of some TLC for a while. But it’s finally time to say goodbye to centuries-old infrastructure and usher in a new era of efficient and inventive solutions. Updates from the end of 2023 show that we’re headed in the right direction. Let’s take a look at where we’ve been and where we’re at now.
At long last, we’ve come full circle since the 2019 Lake Dunlap dam failure! The new dam is now complete, and the lake is full.
When the lake first filled up, there was some debris to handle – as is expected when water returns to dry land for the first time in years – but our waterfront community can come together with the help of Chip Bryant with NB Boat House to get things cleaned up.
Lake Dunlap is stump-free for the first time ever! This makes the lake much safer for boaters and skiers alike. It also substantially increased the usable areas of Lake Dunlap. For example, when the lake was previously full, you could only use half of the lake at the three widest straightaways due to stumps and shallow water. Due to stump clearing and dredging, all three of these straightaways are completely boatable/skiable.
As of late 2023, construction on Lake McQueeney was well underway. Recent timeline estimates suggest that we’re still about 18 to 20 months away from completion.
The project kicked off when it was announced that the lake would be lowered on March 27th, 2023. The original plan was to have the lake up and running once again within 24 to 25 months, but some minor delays have shifted things back a bit. Now, we anticipate Lake McQueeney making a return near the end of the second or third quarter of 2025.
Work over at Lake Placid started around the same time as McQueeney, but things are looking a little brighter for Placid. Construction is moving along faster than Lake McQueeney, mostly because Lake Placid only has two bays and gates, unlike McQueeney (which has three).
Lake Placid’s dam is expected to be completed prior to the summer of 2025! The estimated substantial completion date is set for May 14th, 2025.
Things are a-changin’ for Meadow Lake, and we’re excited to see what comes next. This lake was also set up to be drained on March 27th, but 2023 brought far more good news than that.
Meadow Lake has recently set up its own WCID (a taxing district) to manage dam construction and maintenance. By the end of 2023, the district had an election to get the ball rolling with dam reconstruction.
The goal for Meadow Lake is to remove the old gate, do some reinforcing and ensure the dam structure is secure, and then install a new gate. The new piece will have a similar but updated design, offering more control than its predecessor.
Learn More About Your Favorite Texas Lakes
Join lakefront experts Hunter and Frank as they break down what’s new and what’s coming for some of the most popular lakes in Texas.
You can always count on The Lakefront Group for anything and everything related to Texas lakes. We have decades of experience living on these waters, and there’s nothing we’d love more than to chat with you about them!
Our mission is to help you find a lake house in Texas that you love – no matter which of the beautiful lakes here in the Texas Hill Country you choose. Start a conversation with us today to learn more.