The community of Alviso is located along the edge of South San Francisco Bay, seven miles northwest of downtown San Jose. The Lower Guadalupe River Flood Protection Project (LGRP), constructed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) between April 2003 and December 2004, increased the channel’s capacity to convey stormwater runoff up to a 1 percent (100-year) flood event. In addition to improving flood protection, the project’s purpose included protecting endangered species, preserving fish and migratory bird habitat, and allowing for open-space recreation.
The LGRP’s channel improvements extended from the Alviso County Marina upstream to Interstate 880 (I-880) and included: construction of floodwalls or raising of levees along the riverbanks; replacement of the Highway 237 eastbound bridge; modifications to storm drain outfalls; improvement and construction of maintenance roads and undercrossings; construction of an overflow weir to divert high flows into the Pond A5-A6-A7-A8 complex; and construction of grade control weirs (to provide for gradual drops in the stream elevation).
As part of the LGRP project formulation and in compliance with Board Ends Policy E-3.2.1 , staff identified and presented to the Board several environmental enhancement opportunities. Developing an educational center on a 0.5-acre parcel owned by the State Lands Commission along Gold Street and adjacent to the Guadalupe River, was one enhancement presented to the Board in November 2002. On July 8, 2003, the Board directed staff to initiate a new capital project for this proposed enhancement.
The following project objectives were established by staff and used to develop alternatives for the Gold Street Educational Center.
- Develop an educational center at the Gold Street parcel that serves to highlight Alviso’s history and close association with the Guadalupe River and South San Francisco Bay.
- Provide a link to recreation trails in the vicinity of the site.
- Work closely with representatives of the Alviso community to define the features of the educational center, particularly the content of historical and/or interpretive displays.
Senior Project Manager
(408) 265-2607, ext. 3117