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Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge Replacement

The San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA) identified the Pope/Chaucer Street bridge as one of five bridge replacement projects that are necessary elements for a comprehensive San Francisquito Creek flood protection strategy.

As a member of the SFCJPA, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is responsible for the planning and design process for the Pope-Chaucer Bridge Replacement Project. The water district is working closely with the SFCJPA and the cities of Menlo Park and Palo Alto on the plan and design for the Pope/Chaucer Replacement Bridge.

The project team has developed four alternatives. Two of the alternatives include replacing the existing bridge with one that will ultimately be able to provide up to 100-year flood* flow conveyance, if upstream and downstream improvements are completed.

Baseline Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge Replacement Project Alternatives:

*A 100-year flood has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year or the likelihood of occurring once every 100 years.

A message from the SFCJPA: Upstream of Hwy. 101 projects going forward

Dear community members,

Thank you for your participation in recent public meetings and for providing comments regarding potential San Francisquito Creek projects to reduce the flood threat upstream (west) of Highway 101. We are at an early stage in the development of these projects. Over the next six months, the SFCJPA’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will analyze the impacts of various project elements alone and in conjunction with one another. Your comments at the public meetings, and the phone calls and e-mails we have received, will influence the process and products as we move forward.

Going forward, with your input, we will continue to analyze the feasibility and environmental impacts of projects to provide flood protection up to the 1998 event (replacing bridges and removing channel bottlenecks). We will also study options for potential future projects that provide greater protection against a 100-year flood and reduce the escalating financial burden of flood insurance. We will analyze the relationship between these projects and confirm that bridge designs take advantage of opportunities to reduce the potential 100-year flood threat while minimizing environmental impacts.

The EIR will study a range of alternatives, and no decisions have been made regarding bridge alternatives or options related to 100-year protection. The EIR will take into account all public comments, including those received before and during the official public comment period, which will occur when the Draft EIR is released later this year.

These projects will be built for and by our communities. To learn more and to provide comments, join us at a monthly Board meeting or other public meeting, visit for updates, or contact us by phone, mail, or e-mail at the addresses on our contact page. We appreciate your input.

Len Materman, Executive Director

Recent Events

On Jan. 29, 2014 the project team held a community workshop to discuss the project alternatives for replacement of the Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge. More than 150 residents from Palo Alto and Menlo Park attended. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. Project staff recorded the audio of that session and will be providing a summary of the questions and answers in the coming weeks.

This was preceded by a community meeting on Jan. 15, 2014 that was also well attended, by almost 140 members of the surrounding communities. That presentation provided a comprehensive overview of the San Francisquito Creek Plan and how the Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge Replacement Project fits into that plan. It also covered two of the project alternatives and their pros and cons. The presentation and question and answer session that followed were video taped. The video will also be posted in the coming weeks.

Additional Information

The Potential Future 100-Year Flood Protection Project includes three major alternatives: (1) Upstream Flood Detention, (2) Underground Bypass Culvert and (3) Floodwalls. Separate community meetings will be held to discuss these alternatives through the California Environmental Quality Act's process that requires the evaluation of environmental impacts caused by each project alternative. A draft Environmental Impact Report will be released in the fall of 2014 and will include a public review period. The release of this report will be preceded by information gathering and opportunities for the public to provide their input. For more information on the Potential Future 100-Year Flood Protection Project, the alternatives under consideration and the environmental review process visit or call (650) 324-1972.


Pope/Chaucer Bridge
Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge

Project Materials:

Meeting Materials:

    Community Workshop (Jan. 29, 2014)

    Community Meeting (Jan. 15, 2014)


        Saeid Hosseini, Engineering Unit Manager

        Kevin Sibley, Associate Civil Engineer