My friend John Kemper had property south of the bridge and needed city utility service run across to it. He worked with the city to run large enough lines to serve a larger area as well.
Working with engineers from Austin a concept of running an 8″ water line and a 6″ wastewater pressure line was designed to snake underneath the lake and lay on the bottom. It was to have large concrete weights strapped to each line to hold them in place. The pipe was to be a very durable HDPE pipe that was manufactured in Canada. It was used at that time for gas lines, but hadn’t been used in these applications before.
I was allowed to bid on the project and was the successful bidder. This was in 1983.
As the project got underway, with Mr. Kemper’s clout we were able to drain the lake which made it much easier.
I’m sure there were some free cups of coffee offered to strike the deal.
That allowed us to trench down and bury the line under the sand deposit that was just upstream of the bridge.
The lines we installed were functional for several years until a flood took them out and other methods were built to convey service across to the other side. I guess they are hanging from the new bridge. TxDot wouldn’t allow them to hang on the old bridge back at that time. Never made me feel that good about the integrity of that old bridge if a couple of pipes were going to have an effect on it.
During the course of the project we explored the falls and all up and down that stretch of the river bed. What was shocking to me, along the top of the falls were lengths of large rebar that was drilled into the rock and extended upward some four feet. They were what was left there when a rock or concrete wall had been erected there many years before, I guess to raise the pool leave to run the mill that was just below.
Being concerned that there was the possibility of someone being impaled on one of the many bars if left alone, we went in with a bulldozer bent them over and in some cases able to break them off. We didn’t ask permission, knowing the red tape when you ask things where multiple government agencies are involved. We did it and no one every complained.
I have no way of knowing if a person diving from the side of a boat could have come in contact, given the depth, but why take a chance.
It was a very interesting project.
These are various pictures of that project (I couldn’t find one that showed the rebar sticking up)