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San Francisquito Creek Flood Protection Project: SF Bay to Highway 101

Providing 100-year creek flood protection to more than 5,700 homes and businesses in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. 

Updated November 23, 2016

Construction underway 

Construction began this summer. We started with building a concrete retaining wall next to the International School of the Peninsula and conducting vegetation removal work.

Trail closed from November 29 through December 2
The vegetation clippings and debris will be removed from the San Francisquito Creek channel banks from November 29 through December 2. During this time, the San Francisquito Creek levee trail/Bay Trail on the Palo Alto side between Geng Road and Friendship Bridge will be closed between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

Safety first
Please follow all trail closure signage and fencing. The closures are for your safety while the contractor operates heavy machinery and moves equipment along the creek.

Thanks for your patience
We appreciate your understanding during these intermittent trail closures. We are working with the contractor to keep the trail open as much as possible and provide as much advance notice as possible.

We will continue to share new information on the website and with the email subscriber list.


Project summary

The San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA) is leading a project to protect East Palo Alto and Palo Alto from flooding along San Francisquito Creek between San Francisco Bay and U.S. Highway 101. These communities are at high risk of severe flooding from flows coming down the creek, particularly during high tides. Improving this stretch of about one and a half miles of San Francisquito Creek constitutes the necessary first step in an overall plan to provide more than 5,700 homes and businesses with 100-year creek flood protection during extreme tides and after sea levels rise two feet. 
Visit for comprehensive information on the project and adjoining projects related to the creek and Bay shoreline protection, restoration and trail enhancement.

Project specifics and timeline

Design 2010-2016



Construction Summer 2016-2018

Construction will begin in June 2016 and last for approximately two and a half years, with most of the work limited to June through January to protect endangered species in the area.

The San Francisco Bay to Highway 101 project includes excavating decades of sediment build up in the channel, new floodwalls where private property constrains the channel, widening the channel by building a new levee through the Palo Alto Golf Course, and rebuilding the existing levee adjacent to East Palo Alto homes. 

What to expect during construction 

The SFCJPA and Water District are working to minimize construction impacts as much as practical and in accordance with permit requirements and city ordinances. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we construct this important flood protection project.

Work hours and schedule
Construction work hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The construction season is from June through January, per the regulatory permits. 

Traffic impacts and access
The construction work will remain within and along the creek. No road closures are expected.

The contractor will store equipment and materials along the creek at various locations. On the Palo Alto side, the staging area is next to the Palo Alto Golf Course at Geng Road. On the East Palo Alto side, the staging areas are next to the levee upstream of  O'Connor Pump Station and next to the creek at Verbena Drive and Daphne Way.

The contractor will access the creek work areas at various locations. On the Palo Alto side, the access locations are at East Bayshore Road, Laura Lane and Geng Road. On the East Palo Alto side, the access locations are at Verbena Drive, Daphne Way and O'Connor Street.

If you live or work near the construction access areas along the creek, expect typical construction noise and trucks at the access locations during work hours. Construction traffic routes will be approved by the cities. 

Trail closures and alternate routes
The trails along the creek will be temporarily and intermittently closed starting September 1 as work requires. On the East Palo Alto side, the levee trail between Verbena Drive and O'Connor Street may experience closures. On the Palo Alto side, the Bay Trail/San Francisquito Creek Trail between Geng Road and Friendship Bridge, and the San Francisquito Creek Trail between E. Bayshore Road and Geng Road, may experience closures. 

We are working with the cities of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto on trail closure signage. Alternate routes may be determined by the cities of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto.

Public meetings and notices


Public meeting or notice

Oct. 17, 2016 Email update #7: Trails closed on 10/18
Sept. 29, 2016 Email update #6: Trails open on Thurs 9/29
Sept. 20, 2016 Email update #5: Trails closed on Thurs 9/22
Sept. 15, 2016 Email update #4: Trails reopen on Fri 9/16
Sept. 12, 2016 Email update #3: Trail closures during the week of 9/12

Sept. 1, 2016

Email update #2: Construction underway and trail closures  

Aug. 5, 2016

Groundbreaking ceremony at Friendship Bridge, East Palo Alto

July 14, 2016

Pre-construction meeting at East Palo Alto City Hall

June 30, 2016

Email update #1: Construction begins in June 2016

June 29, 2016

June 22, 2016 Presentation to the Crescent Park Neighborhood Association

Funding partnership

The total estimated cost of the San Francisco Bay to Highway 101 Project is $41.35 million. The project is a partnership among the SFCJPA and its member agencies: the Santa Clara Valley Water District ($28 million), SFCJPA ($8.83 million), City of East Palo Alto ($1.26 million), San Mateo County Flood Control District ($2.06 million), City of Menlo Park ($0.8 million) and City of Palo Alto ($0.4 million). The Water District will administer and manage the construction of levees and floodwalls. The SFCJPA has contracts with PG&E and the East Palo Alto Sanitary District to relocate and improve major utilities, and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nonprofits and private firms to protect endangered species and enhance their habitat.

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 Start Summer 2016
Construction Finish 2018
Location Palo Alto and East Palo Alto
Status Construction

Reference Documents

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