The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed down the Comal Playground at Canyon Lake because of safety violations.

Javier Perez-Ortiz, lake manager, said no one in the staff was qualified to inspect the playground so they hired an outside agency to conduct the inspection.

The playground had several missing boards and areas, such as a bent slide, where kids could get their fingers pinched or get their clothing caught. 

Some areas did not have enough sand. According to the Playground Safety Handbook, sand is one of the landscaping-type of materials used to resist compacting. Over time materials will compress because of weather and use. 

Ramps are another issue. According to the handbook, the vertical distance between the top front edge of a step or ramp surface and the top surface of the handrail above must be a certain number of inches, depending on the child’s age.

The playground is also not compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

“That’s why we decided to close the playground, because that’s a liability issue for us,” Perez-Ortiz said. “We are trying to work with the manufacturer to see if we can get the missing parts.” 

He added they are trying to get some funding to resolve the issues. For new equipment, the cost ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. 

Right now, the U.S.AOE said they’re getting money from fees such as the drive-up, walk-in or bike-in fees.

“We are here to provide the amenities, but also to provide for our visitors, especially for the kids.”

We’re trying to work it out and see what we can do in this regard.”

As of now, Perez-Ortiz said he doesn’t know how long the playground will be closed.

“I need to apologize on behalf of the government, but like I said, it was something that was not correct, based on my experience,” Perez-Ortiz said.

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