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McKelvey Park detention basin

Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project

Updated August 15, 2017

McKelvey Park Detention Basin Project update - Temporary lane closures starting Aug. 16 from construction work

The McKelvey Park Detention Basin Project is one element of the larger Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project that will provide natural flood protection for approximately 2,200 properties in Mountain View and Los Altos. Upon completion and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certification, the project will save residents thousands of dollars on flood insurance each year. Additional benefits include a new mini-park facility with playgrounds, new recessed ball fields with terraced bleachers, a new concession and scorekeeper's booth, new storage, new restrooms and a new community room. 

The Santa Clara Valley Water District expects to begin storm drain work Aug. 16 on Park Drive and Miramonte Avenue. The contractor will temporarily convert Park Drive into a one lane street and close the northbound left turn lane on Miramonte Avenue during construction. All temporary lane closures will occur between Aug. 16 and Sept. 1 within the scheduled construction hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Park Drive and the left turn lane on Miramonte Avenue will reopen to the public during non-construction hours.

On. Aug. 21, the constructor will begin installing permanent sheet piles along the park side of Permanente Creek near Mountain View Avenue. The work will take place concurrently through Sept. 1 with foundation beam installation at the site.

If you live near the McKelvey Park side closest to Mountain View Avenue, expect increased noise levels and temporary ground vibrations to occur from the sheet pile installation during the work hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. residents near the smaller baseball field may experience increased noise levels during the foundation beam installation work along Miramonte Avenue. Scheduled construction hours for the project are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The pedestrian sidewalk next to the smaller baseball field will be closed during the foundation beam work along Miramonte Avenue within permitted construction hours. For your safety, please follow all traffic control and other signage around the project site.

The water district appreciated your patience during construction. The water district and its contractor are working to minimize disruptions as much as practical.


Project summary

After years of planning and design, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is preparing to construct flood protection improvements along Permanente Creek. Once completed, the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project will provide natural flood protection for at least 2,200 properties in Mountain View and Los Altos, create recreational opportunities and enhance the environment.

The McKelvey Park detention basin is the second project element to begin construction. Construction is expected to begin in January 2017 and last for approximately two years.

Project highlights


  • 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
  • Architecturally treated retaining wall around the lowered fields
  • Basin to collect peak storm flows from Hale and Permanente creeks during an approximately 50-year flood event or larger
  • Replacement planting and landscaping


  • Flood protection for thousands of homes and businesses in Mountain View and Los Altos, saving residents thousands of dollars on flood insurance each year
  • Provides new facilities and amenities to park users
  • Reduces construction impacts to downstream residential and business areas

Project construction schedule

The following schedule is the expected sequence and duration of the work. However, the schedule may change as construction progresses and may be updated.

Expected construction activityEstimated date

Utilities relocation and Park Drive realignment

 January to June 2017       

Shoring  July to December 2017
Excavation September 2017 to January 2018
Wall construction November 2017 to July 2018
Structures, mechanical and lighting workFebruary 2018 to October 2018
Site work and landscaping July 2018 to January 2019
Mini park, sidewalk and street improvementsFebruary 2019

What to expect during construction

The Santa Clara Valley Water District and City of Mountain View are working together to minimize construction impacts as much as practical and in accordance with local ordinances. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we embark on this important flood protection project.

  • Regular construction work hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Work is scheduled Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Work on or affecting Miramonte Avenue will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Majority of the construction work will remain within the McKelvey Park site boundaries.
  • Traffic control will be implemented on Mountain View Avenue, Park Drive and Miramonte Avenue north of the site during the first phase of construction when Park Drive is being realigned and the utilities relocated.
  • Alternate playing fields will be made available for McKelvey Park users during the construction phase.
  • For safety and to minimize traffic impacts, trucks will use El Camino Real, Miramonte Avenue and Mountain View Avenue north of Park Drive. Hauling will be limited between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. No trucks will be allowed through the residential areas to the west or east of McKelvey Park, nor along Miramonte Avenue or Mountain View Avenue south of the site.
  • The safety of the community and our employees is a priority. Barricades, railings, lights, fences and other warning devices will be used for public safety and convenience.

What is a flood detention area?

Flood protection methods can include berms around buildings, widening channels, raising floodwalls, elevating structures and roadways, and/or constructing a bypass channel. In areas where development limits widening the creek or raising floodwalls, flood storage basins are used to temporarily divert and store floodwaters until a major storm passes.

The McKelvey Park detention area will be approximately 4.5 acres in size and 18 feet deep with architecturally treated retaining walls. The parking lot will also be sloped with the top of the lot at street level and the bottom at field level. Flood flows would inundate the site very rarely and quickly drain away. A 100-year flood, which has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year, would fill the detention area and would drain out in one to four days. Post-flood cleanup could take approximately two to four weeks, after which the playing fields would be ready for use again.

Renderings and visual perspectives

Photo rendering of the future recessed baseball field and terraced bleachers.
View as PDF.

McKelvey rendering JPG

Overlay map of the new park features.
View as PDF.

McKelvey overlay JPG

Visual perspective of the park elevation and slopes.
View as PDF.

McKelvey perspective JPG

Photo rendering of the future mini park.
View as PDF.

McKelvey mini park rendering .


Use Access Valley Water to submit questions, complaints or compliments directly from your computer or smart phone to a water district staff person who can help you.




Project Quick Look

Construction StartJanuary 2017
Construction FinishFebruary 2019
Location Mtn. View

Reference Documents


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