The new Lincoln Street dam on the Arkansas River opened just in time for the Wichita Rverfest and that's been good for the festival's water events. A torrential downpour last week may have brought part of the project down and the city will have to wait to determine what repairs need to be made.
“I was really impressed how fast it went up,” said neighbor David Gaddie.
Construction of the new Lincoln Street dam and bridge is underway, practically in Gaddie’s front yard. The project started in February.
“They put the dam together in a hurry. They were there seven days a week working on it, getting it ready for the festival and they filled it a couple days before the festival started,” said Gaddie.
It was the first time the dam was operational and the first test for the boat and fish path. The new pathways are designed for boaters to get around the dam without having to dock and for fish to get upstream.
“We’ve had favorable weather, needless to say, to stay on schedule and then of all times to get rain it was kind of bad timing,” said interim city Engineer Gary Janzen.
Bad timing because the east wall of the pathway fell down and they can’t tell yet how big the problem is until the river is lowered again.
“The wall has dropped a little bit because we’ve lost some of the material underneath it which we obviously weren’t expecting and we don’t know why yet,” said Janzen.
Now they’re looking into new building materials so it doesn’t happen again.
“We have to be able to take on high water later so we’ll make it work,” said Janzen.