Estes introduces bill in Congress to rename Big Ditch

M.S. “Mitch” Mitchell
M.S. “Mitch” Mitchell File photo

A bill in Congress would officially rename the Wichita-Valley Center Flood Control Project after M. S. “Mitch” Mitchell.

The city and the county passed a joint ordinance in May to rename the flood control structure in west Wichita and Sedgwick County. The project, commonly called the Big Ditch, is a combination of channels, drainage canals, levees, floodway easements and connections to other streams and rivers.

Mitchell, who designed it and surveyed its creation in the 1950s, died in March.

House Resolution 3383, which will rename the project as the M.S. “Mitch” Mitchell Floodway, was introduced by Fourth District Congressman Ron Estes.

“Mitchell was a visionary, whose long service to Wichita in public works and flood control led to the project’s completion,” Estes said in a statement. “The Big Ditch has saved lives, prevented millions of dollars in property damage, and allowed for expanded growth and opportunity within our region.”

“It is appropriate that it be named after its chief architect and a true Wichita hero.”

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar