WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Falls of Wichita Falls is approaching its 30-year anniversary since its construction back in the 1980's.
And since its completion, the waterfall has been the focal point of interest to those who visit Wichita Falls.
"It is something unusual to have in a prairie community, but that makes it all the more attractive and appealing," said Wichita Falls Parks and Recreation Director Jack Murphy.
The Falls are a man-made, multi-tiered waterfall that stands along the Wichita River.
After the original waterfall was destroyed in a flood back in the 1800's, the city decided that a bigger waterfall was needed.
The original, natural waterfall was only about 4-5 feet high.
The man-made waterfall stands at around 54 feet.
Jack Murphy says that city and community organizations worked together to raise money to complete the estimated $900,000 dollar project.
Once the funds were raised, construction began in 1987 and was finished later that year.
"The purpose of the project was to not only enhance the aesthetics of Wichita Falls, but to give the community a greater sense of pride. This was not long after the tornado of 1979 and there were a number of projects that resulted from that tornado to make improvements to the community," Murphy said.
Murphy says The Falls continues to serve the community, even after almost 30 years in service.
"Visitors come by and you can't miss The Falls driving southbound on Interstate 44 when visitors come to town it's almost always a spot where you want to take your guests to show off the community, walk to the top of The Falls and get a panoramic view, or listen to The Falls," said Murphy.
The Falls is a concrete structure with rock facing.
The rocks were imported from Arkansas with one rock dedicated to Wichita Falls from a town that is no stranger to waterfalls; Niagara Falls, New York.
Murphy says there are a few issues the city is trying to fix around The Falls.
The sidewalks were built before the American with Disabilities Act was passed so they'll be widening the sidewalks as well as creating a by-pass trail that is not as steep as the current one.
Along with widening the sidewalks, there are also plans in place to also widen the bridge to accommodate more people and help with cycling traffic.
Murphy says that these projects will help to allow everyone to enjoy The Falls.
"The waterfall is the type of amenity that appeals to everybody. Children, older folks, it's hard not to like the sound of falling water and the beauty of a multi-tiered falls as we have here in Wichita Falls," said Murphy.
The city hopes to have the projects completed by next Spring.