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Calabazas Creek Flood Protection Project

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Ribbon cutting photo

On Monday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m., the Santa Clara Valley Water District celebrated the completion of the first of nine flood protection projects in the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, approved by voters in 2000. The ceremony was held at Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road and Calabazas Creek, behind the Coldwell Banker building, 12029 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road. More information about the event is posted here.

This project now protects 400 parcels in Saratoga, Cupertino and San Jose from a 1 percent flood and prevents potential flood damages estimated at $11 million. Construction included the demolition and widening of a Union Pacific Railroad bridge in Saratoga, bank erosion repairs at ten sites, a flood detention area adjacent to the creek south of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, and the replacement of the culvert underneath Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

Brief description:
As part of the water district’s 15-year Clean, Safe Creeks Program approved by the voters in November 2000, the   Calabazas Creek Flood Protection Project   was selected to provide: 1) flood protection from Miller Avenue to Wardell Road, 2) habitat restoration, 3) recreation enhancement where opportunities exist. The project now protects more than 400 homes, businesses, and schools from a one-percent flood and prevent potential flood damages estimated at $11 million. The project reduces the likelihood of road closures at Prospect Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road due to flooding.

A variety of flood protection designs or elements were considered. The final project elements includes:

Project goals:
To provide flood protection to homes, streets, businesses, and public facilities in the Calabazas Creek watershed using Natural Flood Protection approach. The construction work will be limited to Calabazas Creek between Miller Avenue and Wardell Road as indicated by the Clean Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan. However, the study area has been extended to include the Comer Debris Basin and Comer Drive.

  • Provide flood protection in the cities of Saratoga and San Jose from Miller Avenue to Wardell Road
  • Protect more than 400 parcels from a 100-year flood
  • Provide long-term benefits to stream ecology, hydrology, wildlife and fisheries
  • Stabilize key erosion sites and improve water quality
  • Improve natural habitat
  • Identify environmental enhancement opportunities

Project contact:
For more information about this completed project, contact: Saeid Hosseini, Project Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District, at (408) 265-2607, ext. 2680.

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UPRR work 1    Project photos 1