The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to rename the Wichita-Valley Center Flood Control Project, also known as the Big Ditch.
The bill would name the channel as the M.S. "Mitch" Mitchell Floodway, and it now goes to the Senate for approval.
Mitchell, known as "Big Ditch Mitch," was the flood control and maintenance supervisor for the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County from 1958 to 1963. He supervised the project to divert excess water around the city of Wichita and ease the flooding that had plagued the central part of the city in previous decades.
The Wichita City Council and the Sedgwick County Commission approved a joint ordinance and resolution in 2017 to ask for the name change. In a press release, Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell said the city is proud to honor the legacy of Mitch Mitchell for his work on the project that has helped to safeguard lives and property in the city for decades.