The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began draining the Tuttle Creek Lake stilling basin below the dam to prepare for a three-week inspection.
Officials are lowering the River Pond area and have shut off outflow until the inspection has been completed.
The inspection, which will check the stability, safety and operations of the dam and other structures, is being conducted by a multidisciplinary team led by a professional engineer.
Lake officials said that people should expect to see areas between Rocky Ford and Tuttle Creek drop in water level throughout the weekend.
“If you’re in the area, you might see a temporary dirt ramp constructed in west Outlet Park near the Cottonwood Shelter,” they said in a social media post. “Our staff will be using this ramp for truck access once the river channel is dewatered. You might also see our work barges floating in four 6-inch pumps that will remove the final 16-feet of water from the stilling basin. which partially sits below the bottom of the river channel.”
Officials advised the public to heed area closures for safety reasons. While people have been able to watch the process in the past, ongoing construction to rehabilitate the stilling basin, or “tubes,” will prevent that this time. This also applies to the east side of Outlet Park.
“We understand the high level of interest in seeing the river channel, basin, and ‘tubes’ in their dewatered state and will post pictures and other updates as we progress,” they said.
People may watch from afar from on top of the dam off Kansas Highway 13 or from the western side of Outlet Park off of Tuttle Creek Boulevard.