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Upper Berryessa Creek Flood Risk Management Project

Upper Berryessa map-th

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Santa Clara Valley Water District held a community meeting on Sept. 12, 2016. Construction work along Upper Berryessa Creek stretching from Calaveras Boulevard to I-680 breaks ground this fall. At the pre-construction meeting, staff from both agencies shared information on what to expect during construction, the project schedule, and how to contact us during work activities. Staff addressed concerns and questions at this meeting.

Please contact your neighborhood liason Emily Gross at 408-630-2415 or if you have any questions.

Upcoming street closure

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the water district will temporarily close South Milpitas Boulevard from the intersection of Montague Expressway north to Garden Street from Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. to Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 5 a.m.

The closure is needed to replace an existing Union Pacific Railroad Bridge with a new box culvert about 5,000 feet north of Montague Expressway and the existing railroad tracks at the South Milpitas Boulevard crossing and at the new bridge.

About the project
The Berryessa Creek Flood Risk Management Project (fact sheet) encompasses approximately 2.2 miles of Berryessa Creek from Calaveras Boulevard to Interstate 680. 

The Upper Berryessa Creek flood protection project offers a tremendous opportunity for a project to increase flood protection and stabilize the channel banks The water district will continue to work with the community and cities to provide critical flood protection needs for Milpitas and San Jose.

Upper Berryessa Creek has a history of flooding, having experienced major events within the project area in 1982, 1983, and 1998. In 1982, the bank overflowed south of Calaveras Boulevard. To date, the creek has a 25 percent chance of flooding each year.

Flooding can result in millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, schools, and other infrastructure. Disruption to businesses and transportation networks such as the upcoming BART station at Montague Expressway will result in significant loss of productivity and revenue. One of the project’s goals is to avoid utility and transportation shutdowns and prevent potential damages from a 100-year storm event* exceeding $528 million (2011 value) per event. Approximately, 500 businesses and homes would be affected. The Santa Clara Valley Water District has initiated design of a flood protection project along 2.2 miles of the creek from Calaveras Boulevard to Interstate 680.

* A 100-year storm event, sometimes called a one-percent flood event, has a 1-in-100 chance of occuring in any given year.

By the numbers
The Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program provides funds to design and construct a project to:
  • Provide flood protection in the cities of Milpitas and San Jose from Interstate 680 to Calaveras Boulevard and for more than 30 miles of streets including Highway 237 and Montague Expressway

  • Protect 650 parcels from a 100-year flood event

  • Provide long-term benefits to stream ecology and environmental habitat

  • Minimize project impacts to the environment

  • Identify environmental enhancement opportunities

  • Reduce erosion, sedimentation, maintenance requirements, and improve water quality
  • Prevent potential damages in excess of $528 million (2011 value) from a 100-year flood event

  • The project will include planting of over 100 native trees and shrubs and hydroseeding native wetlands plants to improve the environment and visual quality of the area

The project is funded by the countywide Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program parcel tax passed by voters in November 2012. The 15-year plan makes it possible to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding, while improving the health of creek and bay ecosystems and creating trails and parks for recreational enjoyment.

Looking ahead

The Upper Berryessa Creek flood protection project offers a tremendous opportunity for a multi-purpose project to increase flood protection, create recreational opportunities and improve the environment. The water district will continue to work with the community and cities to provide critical flood protection needs for Milpitas and San Jose.

Construction is planned for September 2016 through December 2017 to provide flood protection for the newly constructed BART Milpitas Station which is expected to open in late 2017.


You can also use “Access Valley Water” to submit questions, complains or compliments directly from your computer to a water district staff person who can help you. Click on the "Projects planned for my neighborhood" tab and select "Berryessa Creek (upper) flood protection project - Calaveras Blvd. to Interstate 680".

Sign up to receive project updates via email.




Photo of UPRR bridge 
Plans include replacement of the Union Pacific Railroad bridge that currently restricts water flows during high storm events.

Erosion along Berryessa Creek

Erosion has been an ongoing issue along Berryessa Creek. The water district will address this problem and provide a 100-year level of flood protection.

Project Information

Program Start 2007
Program Finish 2019
Total Cost $75 million
Status Design phase

For more information:

  • Contact Karl Neuman at (408) 630-3059 or by email.