Workers restore hurricane-damaged Lake Livingston Dam

Trinity River Authority of Texas says repairs to the northern face of hurricane-damaged Lake Livingston Dam are substantially complete, nearly two months ahead of schedule.

Hurricane Rita stripped 11,000 feet of riprap from the 13,700-foot-long earthen embankment on Sept. 23, 2005. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency funded 75 percent of the $9.6 million cost to repair the dam, with the city of Houston funding the balance.

Archer Western Contractors Ltd. was the prime contractor for the repairs. Workers applied 72,215 tons of 32-inch-diameter rock and 15,808 tons of 8-inch-diameter bedding rock to the structure.

TRA said on April 26 it could begin storing water above 127 feet mean sea level, the drawdown level during repairs. TRA said another month would be required to complete repairs with restoration of the single-lane roadway on the top of the dam.

TRA operates Lake Livingston under contract with the city of Houston. Lake Livingston — the largest water supply reservoir located entirely within Texas — holds nearly three-fourths of Houston’s available water supplies.

Lake Livingston Dam was built for water supply purposes in 1969. East Texas Electric Cooperative Inc. is studying the feasibility of developing a 24-MW hydro plant (No. 12632) at the site. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the cooperative a three-year preliminary permit in April.

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