Over the past couple of weeks, City of Manhattan Parks Crews have been working to clear a log jam on Wildcat Creek near Pecan Circle, south of K-18. The log jam formed following the 2018 Labor Day Flood when high waters damaged stream banks and toppled trees as tall as 60 feet.
“This area of Wildcat Creek has a bend that is greater than 90 degrees and it represents a pinch point. When the large trees became lodged, they trapped a lot of additional debris,” says Casey Smithson, Park Superintendent.
Parks Crews have been working with Hummel Tree Service using winch trucks and a crane and have removed 251,000 pounds of wood debris from Wildcat Creek so far. Public Works trucks are transporting the debris to the Riley County Transfer Station for disposal.
Sections of Linear Trail will be closed during the phases of this and other projects planned for Wildcat Creek. The section of trail between South Manhattan Ave and Pecan Circle will be closed from December 4 – 20 while the remaining log jam is removed. Stream bank stabilization work is also planned near Linear Trail between Poliska Lane and Farm Bureau Road, which will require closure. Updates about trail status will be posted to the Interactive Trail Map located under the Parks and Trails > Trails tab on the Manhattan Parks and Recreation website www.mhkprd.com or at https://arcg.is/j9v9P.
Funding to clear the log jam is part of a stream bank stabilization project for Wildcat Creek, planned in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP). The EWPP assists with emergency recovery measures for watersheds damaged by natural disasters.
The City has been working with the NRCS, and other federal agencies, to make assessments and apply for aid to repair public infrastructure damaged by the Labor Day Flood of 2018. The City submitted funding requests for six sites and the NRCS confirmed funding for three, at a 75% cost share. Based on current estimates, the total cost for the three projects will be $795,000 and the City will fund $217,500. The log jam removal portion represents a cost of $75,000 and will be completed by City forces as an in-kind contribution to the project, meaning the City will be reimbursed for that amount.
“We were thankful to be able to fulfill part of our obligation with in-kind labor, rather than cash,” says Smithson.
The log jam near Pecan Circle was one of the three approved project sites. A second site is located near Home Depot, on the west side of Linear Trail where soil erosion exposed a 16-foot section of a sanitary sewer trunk main.
At the third site, located just east of the Linear Park Trail Bridge at Seth Child Road and south of Garden Way, flooding caused soil erosion that exposed a sanitary sewer inverted siphon and concrete-encased sewer pipes.
The City will fund 100% of repairs at a fourth site in order to protect sanitary sewer infrastructure at the Wildcat Creek Lift Station, located near Linear Trail and Fort Riley Boulevard, east of Richards Drive.
Work on all four projects is scheduled to be completed in early 2020. The projects were discussed at the October 17, 2019 City Commission Meeting and more information is available on the City of Manhattan website www.cityofmhk.com.