Buchanan Dam – Colorado River – Burnet TX


"The Buchanan Dam is a large flood-control, water-conservation, and power project. It was originally a power project of a utility company but was taken over by the Lower Colorado River Authority in 1936 after the utility company had abandoned it. The total length of the dam is 8,400 feet and its height is 143 feet from bed to parapet. It develops a reservoir of 23,500 acres.

The power plant has a capacity of 22,000 kilowatts. The project was completed in November 1938 at an estimated construction cost of $7,093,098 and project cost of $8,298,957. Included in this cost if $1,654,061 paid for construction work done before the P.W.A. allotment was made.

The Austin Dam project consists of the rebuilding and restoration of a dam originally constructed in 1893 which had been partly destroyed by floods and eventually abandoned. The construction consists of a curtain wall on the upstream side of the dam to prevent percolation of water under it, to increase the mass of the dam by adding concrete to the old stone dam, to repair the foundation of the toe of the dam, and to construct and equip a new powerhouse. The project will probably be completed in December 1940 at an estimated construction cost of $3,166,032 and a project cost of $3,415,069."
(Short and Brown)

"Construction of the then-named George W. Hamilton Dam was started in 1931 by a company controlled by Samuel Insull, but soon ended with the dam less than half completed when his highly-leveraged public utility holding company collapsed during the Great Depression.[2] In 1934, the Texas legislature authorized the formation of the Lower Colorado River Authority to complete the Hamilton dam.[3] Following completion in 1937, the dam was re-named for U.S. Representative James P. Buchanan, who was involved obtaining federal funding the project from the Public Works Administration."

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).


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Location Info

Buchanan Dam
Burnet, TX 78611

Location notes:

Coordinates: 30.746773, -98.397958

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