SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- In the downtown area, Jordan Creek runs through a tunnel built in the 1930s. Now there's a plan to bring the creek back out into the daylight.
We went on a walking tour through the Jordan Creek tunnel with City of Springfield stormwater experts, Watershed Committtee of the Ozarks members, and other interested citizens. We also walked the creek's route on the surface. The reason is the city and the Corps of Engineers wanted to share some big ideas for Jordan Creek.
It's not your usual stroll along an Ozarks creek. This one does have some fish, but it also carries the markings of multiple artists. In the two-thirds-of-a-mile dark tunnel, spring-fed Jordan Creek still flows, even in a drought.
"They will feed for a long, long time, even with no rain," said Todd Wagner, Springfield's principal stormwater engineer.
The tunnel was built to carry the creek more than 70 years ago as a solution to floods.
"Multiple floods that were flooding downtown Springfield, and there was a lot of industry flooded, loss of life, and so the city leaders decided they had to do something," Wagner said.
In fact, the night before the vote in the early '30s that decided whether to box in Jordan Creek, there was another flood that basically sealed the deal. Underneath streets like Water and Mill, it's been largely out of sight and out of mind for decades.