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Lower Silver Creek

Construction update


(April  2015) - Construction on the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project takes place this summer at several locations in east San José from Story Road to Cunningham Avenue (see “orange” and “brown” lines on map below). Work includes widening the creek channel and adding floodwalls to accommodate high flows from winter storms. Construction begins in early May and runs through December 2017.

2015 Lower Silver Creek Construction Map

Why it's needed 

With the completion of work at Lake Cunningham, the project will protect homes, schools andbusinesses from a 1 percent flood event * andcould make the area eligible for removal from the flood insurance requirement currently imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Work details and impacts

The public will see frequent trucks and hauling through neighborhood streets as workers remove sediment from the creek bed between Interstate 680 to Story Road, which will help the creek maintain its capacity to carry flows (see “green” line on map). Anti-graffiti coating is planned for the floodwalls from Moss Point Drive to Ocala Avenue. Also, the project will repair the existing maintenance road from Jackson Avenue to Story Road to improve equipment access along the creek area.

PG&E and the water district will provide advance notice of electrical shutdowns planned at various locations within Murtha and Moss Point drives and from Moss Point Drive to Ocala Avenue to construct floodwalls.

The water district will use best management practices to minimize disturbance to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Traffic update

Completion of the ramp and fl work at Story Road bridge starts this summer. Lane closures and shifting of traffi at Story Road will occur through fall 2015. In addition, work between Story Road and Cunningham Avenue will require lane closures at Murtha Drive, Moss Point Drive, Ocala Avenue and Cunningham Avenue through fall 2015. The water district will use traffi controls or fl as needed, during the day to maintain public safety.

Project contact:

For more information on this project, contact Project Engineer, Ted Ibarra at (408) 630-2067 or by email at

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 or work going on in my neighborhood" tab and select "Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project".

Sign up to receive project updates via email.

Your Recovery Act tax dollars and a CA State Bond at work

The Santa Clara Valley Water District and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have been working on a multi-purpose project along Lower Silver Creek to protect nearly 3,800 homes and businesses from a 100-year flood event. In spring 2009, some Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project improvements were identified as “shovel-ready” projects and were approved to receive $18 million in federal economic stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Recently, we received word that the project will receive another $2.2 million from ARRA, bringing the total to $20.7 million. This new infusion of these funds helped complete the project from Interstate 680 to the Lyndale neighborhood.  

In late 2011, the Santa Clara Valley Water District was awarded a California State Dept. of Water Resources grant which will fund the completion of this project through Lake Cunningham.  The $25 million state grant will fund the completion of flood walls and vegetation work up to Lake Cunningham.  The grant will also fund the design and construction of the final phase of the Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project through the Lake Cunningham area.  The completion of this final phase of flood protection work will prevent flood waters from a 1% flood event (also known as a 100-year flood) from leaving the creek and flooding streets and homes in the current flood hazard area and will remove the mandatory flood insurance requirement for this neighborhood.  

The project encompasses multiple segments, referred to as “Reaches”. Improvements for Reaches 1, 2, and 3 (from Coyote Creek to Interstate 680) were completed in 2006. Over the past 50 years, Lower Silver Creek has experienced severe flooding that resulted in damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties. 

Reach 6 construction (2009)
The first phase of construction began in late August 2009 and continued through October on either side of Ocala Ave. 

Const. start                  traffic safety                     Erosion protection Lwr. Silver

Excavator widening              
the creek.
Traffic controls              
as trucks enter
grasses taking root
on new banks.

Reach 4 and 5 construction (2010 through 2012) The second phase of the project includes the widening of the creek channel and the addition of concrete flood walls from Interstate 680 through the Dobern and Lyndale neighborhoods.  This section also required the rebuilding of two major bridges at Capitol Expressway and Jackson Ave.     

 Traffic control will be provided, and flaggers will be onsite during work hours to ensure everyone’s safety. Equipment used will include excavators, bulldozers, loaders, scrapers, jack hammers, small cranes and dump and transportation trucks. Typical construction noise can be expected during work hours.

 Flood protection project commended in federal report

The White House recently released Vice President Joe Biden’s list of 100 significant stimulus projects from across the United States. The Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project, which is a joint project between the NRCS and the district, was a significant local feature on this celebrated list of stimulus fund accomplishments.

The entire report is available for download here. (Vice President Joe Biden's list of 100 significant stimulus projects) logos      state logo

Groundbreaking Ceremony Aug. 27 photos  and a short video.

Groundbreaking Ceremony invitation

Construction Progress Sept. 2009 photos

Design Proposals for Reach 4 and 5  Meeting displays for 4b,  Meeting display for 4c and meeting display for 5


Our partners for this project:

Natural Resources Conservation Service

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


ARRA Certification: Section 1511