Federal, state and local leaders joined together on Aug. 28 to break ground on the first phase of construction of the historic Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection Project.

“When completed, this project will provide flood protection for residents, businesses and farming areas of southern Santa Clara County,” said Norma Camacho, Chief Executive Officer of Valley Water. “It will also improve the creek habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife, an effort which includes planting more than 100 acres of native vegetation, to create on-site wetlands mitigation at Lake Silveira”.

Funds for this multi-year $180 million project derive from voter approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as well as other state and federal sources.

“Today marks a significant milestone for much-needed flood protection in the Morgan Hill and San Martin communities,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, U.S. Representative for California’s 19th District, who took part in today’s groundbreaking ceremony.  Lofgren has been a steadfast supporter of this initiative to safeguard the community from floods that for decades have caused damage along the creek.

Extending 13 miles from Buena Vista Avenue in Gilroy to just beyond Llagas Road within the City of Morgan Hill, the project protects hundreds of properties susceptible to flooding during storm events. The planning and design effort required the acquisition of approximately 150 parcels and resource agency permit negotiations, as well as consultations with the local community

“Like many of you, I vividly remember the aftermath of some of the major flooding incidents in Morgan Hill over the years,” said John L. Varela, Valley Water Board of Directors representative for District 1 and a longtime resident of Morgan Hill, “I want to say thank you to Santa Clara County voters for approving Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. Today’s groundbreaking shows that Valley Water keeps its promises to the voters to deliver clean water, a healthy environment, and flood protection.”

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