MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake are nearing completion of the stilling basin construction project with the departure of the contractor from the site. The Stilling Basin (locally known as the “tubes”) is scheduled to be reopened to the public sometime in mid-August, depending on weather conditions effecting final work.
Once open, the public may resume travel on River Pond Road, fishing at the basin, and use of east Outlet Park. Tuttle Creek State Park is coordinating reopening of the west entrance to the River Pond Area in conjunction with the basin reopening.
The basin and east half of Outlet Park has been closed to the public since March 2018 to accommodate the rehabilitation work. This work included permanent repair of recurring sinkholes through the replacement of the underground drain system, installation of 34 post-tension anchors to increase wall stability, and replacement of deteriorated concrete around the top perimeter of the walls.
This work experienced significant delays, most notably when work was suspended for approximately 6 months due to the 2019 flood. Remaining work includes safety repairs and a backlog of accrued park maintenance while the area was in control of the contractor. Additional, short-term closures will likely be required in the future to facilitate replacement of damaged roads and other repairs.
In addition to providing access to River Pond, the stilling basin is enjoyed by fishermen and visitors observing releases from the lake. Access to the area remains unchanged, but visitors can expect some facility changes including lined traffic lanes and parking stalls, a much wider sidewalk, baluster handrails instead of chain-link fencing, and the addition of 34 yellow anchor caps located around the perimeter sidewalk.
East outlet park shelter (#3 and #4) reservations will not be accepted until the area is reopened. Shelter reservations can be made in-person at the Corps of Engineers office at 5020 Tuttle Creek Blvd, Manhattan, KS 66502. Visitors should note the playground at shelter #3 (“the purple playground”) will remain closed due to unforeseen supply-chain problems significantly delaying replacement of the fall protection surface.
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