Stilling basin repairs nearing completion below Tuttle Creek Dam

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The stilling basin below Tuttle Creek Dam, as seen Thursday, April 8. (Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

The stilling basin rehabilitation project below Tuttle Creek dam is nearing completion.

The project primarily repairs sinkholes that occurred in the area in 2015 and also previously in 1987. Crews have completed new buried back wall drains at a shallower depth and replaced the top 8 feet of the stilling basin’s side walls. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operations Project Manager Brian McNulty tells KMAN most of the underground work is now done.

“There’s 34 of those large post tension anchors that have been installed along both sides of the basin. All of those are in place. Eight of them have the 30-day tensioning process yet to be done. That’s a three step process,” he said.

McNulty says that will take place at the end of this month. Top of wall concrete treatment, hand-railing, site sidewalks, paving and gate restoration still is yet to be complete, but is underway.

“Hopefully we should be complete with that project sometime mid-summer hopefully,” he said.

All public access to the area remains closed during construction.

In addition to work in the stilling basin, McNulty says work will also soon begin to repair riprap — the large rocks on the upper part of the dam’s upstream side.

“If you remember back in 2019, the lake was up for months and the lake sat at around elevation 1,125 for months and the wave action really pounded on that part of the dam and dislodged a lot of that large rock,” he said.

The project is out for bids and should be awarded within the next few weeks for the more critical areas. McNulty says budget requests are in to repair the entire zone within the next few years above 1,125 feet.

Work also continues at Stockdale Park and Tuttle Creek Cove, both of which were heavily impacted by flooding in 2019. McNulty says rehabilitation is still underway at Tuttle Creek Cove.

“Weather has caused some delays there. We also funded another portion of that campground here within the last couple months. Those repairs are scheduled to be done, weather dependendt, by mid-July. Optimistically, I would like to see them open by the 4th of July, but Mother Nature will dictate that,” he said.

All Corps parks and state park reservable sites are booked already for Memorial Day weekend.

Most boat ramps are available except at Tuttle Cove. Boating traffic has been increasing as temperatures warm up.

Presidential directives apply to all federal properties, including mask wearing in all public buildings.

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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