Good Question - How Big Is The Big Ditch?

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Born in the 1950's, it's birth name is the Wichita-Valley Center Flood Control Project, but it's also a big ditch, so that's what people call it. But how big is the man made city river?

For starters, from end to end the ditch is 18 miles long.

It would take a pretty good arm to throw a rock across the Big Ditch. At some points along the 18 mile stretch, it's 900 feet wide--that's three football fields.

Most of the time the Big Ditch has a small amount of water between its banks. But when it's doing the job engineers designed it to do, keeping parts of the city from washing away in a flood, it reached 17 feet deep, with plenty of room for more.

A few other facts about the Big Ditch--it has 50 miles of connecting channels and more than 90 miles of levees. The Arkansas River, Little Arkansas, Cowskin Creek and Chisholm Creek all count on the Big Ditch to divert water if necessary.

Watch for Jeff's "Good Question" reports Thursdays on KAKE News at 6. If you have a "Good Question" for Jeff, e-mail us at, or leave your comments below.

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