Culverts & Weirs

Central Park Weir

What are Culverts & Weirs?

A culvert provides a means of unrestricted water conveyance under roadways or under parcels of land.


A weir is almost a small-scale dam, holding back the water and regulating it's flow and allowing it to either flow over the top of the wall creating a waterfall effect, through gates in the wall, or a combination of both.


Mill Creek Linear Park makes use of both culvert and weir structures, along with a few bridges, to create a variety of visual and sound-pleasing experiences as one walks along the canals banks. Holding the water at consistent levels allows for the lake area in Central Park, the Sluice that turns the Mill House Waterwheel and aerators, or fountains, in scattered locations, and riverside gardens beside the canal.

Central Park Weir Construction

Central Park Weir

The Central Park Weir was the first weir constructed within a three week window in December of 2007 while the Kern Island Canal was closed for routine maintenance, along with all the other canal upgrades and redesigns. The weir is a 96-foot long circular arc consisting of 10 precast wall panels, plus two gated panels for the intake structure. Each panel has an eight foot wide by 12" high base, with the wall portion for the main panels varying from 4'-7" wide by 2'-6" high at the sides of the canal to 10'-6" wide by 10'-0" high for most of the structure. The weir allows for a more than two foot fall from design water level from the lake to the next section of the canal.

17th Street Weir Construction

17th Street Weir

The 17th Street Weir is L-shaped in design. This allows water to spill over two straight legs flowing perpendicular to and parallel to the canal. The weir was built during the three week construction schedule in December of 2008 when the Canal was closed for maintenance. This weir is comprised of 8 precast panels with two extra panels used for the gated intake structure. Each panel has an 8'-0" by 12" high base, and a 10'-6" wide by 10'-6" high wall. The intake structure is more than 26' x 16', utilizes the weir's slide gates and a bypass gate opening to control water flow and regulate canal water levels in this section of the Mill Creek Linear Park enabling water to be diverted to the Mill House's Waterwheel Sluice. 

California Avenue Weir Construction

California Avenue Weir

The weir structure at California Avenue is an 85-foot long circular arc. The weir was also built during the three week construction schedule in December of 2008 when the Canal was closed for maintenance.  The weir structure consists of 8 precast panels in conjunction with two panels used for the gated intake structure. Each panel has an 8'-0" wide by 12" high base. The two anchor panels have walls of 11'-4" wide by 10'-6" high. The six remaining panels are each 10'-6" wide by 10'-6" high. The intake structure is more than 32' x 18' in size, and works in combination with the weir's slide gates and bypass gate opening to control water flow and regulate canal water levels along the southern portion of the Mill Creek Linear Park.

21st Street Culvert

Culvert Modifications

Culverts at 24th, 21st and 19th Streets, and California Avenue were modified with wingwalls and diverter panels allowing water to transition and flow smoother through each box culvert.  The culverts at 17th and 18th Streets were removed completely and replaced with bridge structures.  For more information on those, visit our Mill Creek Bridges page.