Stakeholders to meet on reopening Canyon Dam service road

Canyon Lake

Public outcry resulted from the recent decision to close the service road at Canyon Dam. The road, also known as the Vereda Real Scenic Walk, was popular among joggers, walkers and those out with their dogs. It was closed because of safety concerns May 21, prompting online petitions and more among those who use if frequently.

Now, however, there may be good news on the horizon. On June, the  8 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 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.

Partners and stakeholders included representatives from U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s office, Comal County, the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority and the Water Oriented Recreation District (WORD). 

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.  

In May 2017, a complaint was filed alleging the Corps was in violation of the Architectural Barriers Act. Subsequently, the US Access Board concluded the Corps was in violation of the ABA. This complaint brought to light safety concerns for all users.

“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 say they are are dedicated to finding viable solutions to get the service road reopened to the public as soon as possible.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666