FORT WORTH, Texas – On June 8 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District staff met with local partners and stakeholders to discuss options for the re-opening of Canyon Dam’s service road for public use after recently closing it due to safety concerns.
Partners and stakeholders included representatives from US Senator John Cornyn’s office, Comal County, the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority and the Water Oriented Recreation District.
The group discussed alternatives and funding sources to make the service road safe; not only for handicapped persons requiring the use of mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters, but also for anyone using wheeled devices such as bicycles, children’s wagons and strollers.
Alternatives discussed included constructing a wider pedestrian walk through to allow wheeled assistive devices such as wheelchairs and scooters to pass through, yet prohibiting motorcycles and other motorized vehicles.
A second measure would include guard rails on both sides of the entire length of the dam service road to provide safety measures for the steep slopes along the service road.
Additionally, the group discussed modification options for the parking area to allow access from the parking lot to the accessible walk through so that it will be compliant with access requirements.
Tim MacAllister, the Fort Worth District operations division chief, expressed his concerns with pursuing funding within USACE to implement the measures.
To help fund these upgrades, the team discussed grant options that Comal County, GBRA and WORD could pursue and congressional support to assist with providing more information and guidance on these grant possibilities.
“Having concern for the safety of all users and not wanting to discriminate, the Corps made the difficult decision to close the dam service road to all users until the appropriate safety features and accessibility features could be put in place,” said MacAllister.
USACE and its partners are dedicated in finding viable solutions to get the service road reopened to the public as soon as possible.
About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico. Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and SWF Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/usacefortworth/.