Park and neighborhood groups met again with the city engineering dept. last night to talk about updates to the storm water flood plan for Lick Creek, both in Overton Park and throughout Midtown. Since our last meeting, the engineers have met with Kevin Tucker, a golf course architect who redesigned Galloway and did a master plan (apparently unimplemented) for the Overton course some years ago.
The plan still calls for widening the culvert under Poplar (which is unfortunately likely to take about six months) and a berm across the front of the zoo and its parking lot (skirting the edge of the Greensward but taking no trees). They've decided to route the water coming into the park under Poplar east and across golf hole #7 instead of west and across several others. That route allows water to flow more directly into the forest, where it can help the thirsty sycamores.
They will also have to rework several bridges, including two newer ones by the golf house and by the Rainbow Lake playground. Still in question are the two older bridges, esp. the one just downstream of Poplar, which were built by the WPA. They can reroute water around them or rebuild them to be wider at the base. The bridges are in dubious repair and may succumb to floods in the highest of storms if left in their present condition. Hugh Teaford of the engineers is due to meet with several of us, including representatives from Landmarks and Memphis Heritage, to consider the question.
Bad news from the meeting was the report on the contracting engineer digging the retention basin at CBU. He has breached a pipe or two and not done effective erosion control during the project, and brown water has been released into Lick Creek. I'd noticed several days ago that the creek through the park was stagnant with a terrible smell, and this is the cause. CPOP has photos of the site and more information here. Given how badly this retention basin construction has gone wrong, park lovers can rejoice that nothing like this project is going to happen in the Greensward.