The Santa Clara Valley Water District is dedicated to reducing flood risk and keeping communities safe. Ensuring the reliability of levees is a cornerstone of the district’s flood protection work.
This fall, the Uvas Creek Levee Rehabilitation Project will help offset some of the severe damage to its levee along Uvas Creek caused by burrowing animals such as ground squirrels. These critters have created a series of tunnels and holes along 1-mile within the levee. The project will rebuild the levee to its as-built condition and implement measures to prevent further holes from occurring. It will remove and replace both banks from Miller Avenue to the Gilroy Sports Park. The maintenance repair is required to maintain the 100-year flood conveyance of Uvas Creek.
The district will implement the project in two phases. Phase 1 will address the land side of the levee. Phase 2 will address the creek side of the levee.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District will begin repairing the levee at Uvas Creek on Monday, Sept. 10. Weekday work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any work before 8 a.m. will be limited to preparation activities with minimal noise impact. Saturday work will be on a case-by-case basis, with likely hours being 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The water district’s contractor will establish a construction staging area next to Christmas Hill Park at Uvas Parkway and West 10th Street. The district will utilize a screened fence around the staging area to shield the neighborhood from the equipment. Contractors will use a temporary trailer at the site and stockpile some soil from levee excavation.
Trail access on the levee will have some restrictions once construction begins. Students using this trail to get to and from Gilroy High School, Las Animas Elementary School and Solarsano Middle School should be cautious when near the construction zones and follow contractor’s warning and safety signs.
Levees generally parallel the course of creeks and rivers and are a preventative measure to prevent flooding of the adjoining land. The work by the district to repair this levee will ensure flood protection for the community. In its current condition, the levee is deteriorated and will not function as it was designed.
Since summer 2013, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has conducted routine annual inspections of the levee. The Corps' latest assessment classified and rated the levee’s condition as unacceptable. The Corps determined the levee has been compromised and requested the water district.