The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reopened the road and stilling basin area at the base of the dam at Tuttle Creek Reservoir.
The road reopened Thursday after the completion of a nearly 4-year construction project in the area commonly referred to as the “tubes.” This also means the east half of Outlet Park and the west entrance to the Riverpond Area of Tuttle Creek State Park is now open.
The project started in early 2018, but then stalled in 2019 after high waters prevented work from taking place for several months. The lake filled to near capacity in June 2019 before the Corps was able to make some moderate releases downstream.
Corps Operations Project Manager Brian McNulty tells KMAN there are still some items in the area to complete and he says some short term closures of the road will take place at some point, but no timetable has been announced.
Local residents took to the stilling basin Friday to try their luck at fishing. John Apple of Manhattan says he used to frequent the “tubes” before they shut down and was glad to be back.
The area includes a refurbished fishing area, newly paved roads and a more modern style railing and fencing around the tubes. Apple says he’s pleased with the renovations.
Local fisher Gerrit Teneyck had better luck Thursday but came back out Friday to see if he could get some more bites.
Teneyck says despite the new renovations, he misses some of the fishing area’s old features.
Outflow at the tubes is at 400 cubic feet per second. The lake remains just slightly above its normal conservation pool of 1,075 feet.
Vehicle passes into the state park are $5 for a day and $25 for an annual pass.