On Oct. 11, the Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors awarded a construction contract for the first phase of the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project, a milestone for a project that has been over 10 years in the making. The board action signifies work on the Rancho San Antonio County Park detention basin will begin in a matter of months.

Stretching over 10 miles along Permanente Creek from San Francisco Bay’s shoreline through Mountain View and a portion of Los Altos, the project will provide flood protection for 2,200 homes and businesses including schools. The project will also prevent flooding along Middlefield Road and Central Expressway.

Project elements include floodwalls, channel widening, and flood detention basins in Rancho San Antonio County Park and McKelvey Park. The detention basins will temporarily store floodwaters,  until a major storm passes, and then will allow the water  to drain away in a few days. Channel widening  and floodwalls increase the capacity of the creek to  contain water during storms with high flows. In addition to flood protection, the project will also enhance wildlife habitat in Rancho San Antonio Park and enhance amenities at both parks.

Construction of the Rancho San Antonio Park detention basin is scheduled to begin in December. This part of the project will include:

  • A gently sloped, 15-foot-deep vegetated detention basin in Rancho San Antonio park;
  • Replacement of the existing maintenance bridge;
  • New restrooms;
  • A new, larger, paved parking lot with designated equestrian spots
  • Dozens of new, native trees;
  • Removal of non-native trees that compete with the native landscape.

Work on the McKelvey Park detention basin is scheduled for early next year. Project features for this element include:

  • New 0.7-acre mini-park facility with playgrounds and other features;
  • Construction of an inlet and outlet to allow water flows to enter and exit the fields;
  • Basin to collect peak storm flows from Hale and Permanente creeks;
  • Replacement planting and landscaping;
  • Architecturally treated retaining wall around the lowered baseball fields; and
  • New baseball park facilities, such as concessions and meeting room buildings, a scorekeeper’s booth and lighting system.

Project floodwalls will line Permanente Creek levees north of Highway 101. Along with the channel widening, this portion of the project is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Construction updates will be provided at upcoming public meetings and on the project website. Sign-up here to receive updates via e-mail.

To learn more about the project visit:  http://valleywater.org/services/PermanenteCreek.aspx

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