MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Land normally underwater near Tuttle Creek Lake is dry, but it’s not because of a drought. It’s a large project by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
“General maintenance and upkeep with the parts of the dam that rarely see the light of day,” said Brian McNulty, operations project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek.
The corps is inspecting the area where water flows out of the lake. How much is released typically depends on how high the lake level is, except for now.
It’s a project that takes place every five years, workers check tubes, gates, the stilling basin, and walls of the river bank.
“That water that comes out of there has an impact on the concrete, has an impact on the outlet works, and the more water we let out, the more pressures go up,” McNulty said. “We had some damages to the floor of one of the tubes, and so we’ll be doing the assessments to doing the repairs on that.”
Before workers could get to work, they had to drain the water and move more than 70,000 pounds of fish downstream. Now workers are inspecting and making repairs. There is rust, erosion, and some damage that is a result of the high waters last year.
Officials said it’s important to address the issues quickly.
“The damage would continue to get worse and the repair would get more expensive,” McNulty said.
Normally people would be allowed to watch the process, but lookouts are closed because of additional construction going on at the top of basin. During the project, there are workers at the stilling basin 24/7, not only to continue work, but to make sure the public isn’t getting into areas that are unsafe.
Work is expected to be completed by October 30.