Tuttle Creek Lake Stilling Basin Construction Nears Completion


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.

The Kansas City District is a team of dedicated professionals with a strong heritage and proven results who, in collaboration with our partners, proudly serve the Heartland providing leadership, technical excellence, and innovative solutions to the nation’s most complex problems.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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