Valley Water is dedicated to keeping residents and businesses safe through its flood protection programs. The Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project will provide 100-year flood protection to approximately 1,820 homes, schools, and businesses in Milpitas.
When complete, the Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project will provide new floodwalls, improved levees, and widened creek channels to accommodate high flows. This is in addition to enhanced and enlarged tidal and freshwater wetlands and riparian habitats.
The Calera Creek Flood Protection Project is part of the larger collection of flood protection improvements under the Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project.
Final phase of flood protection work on Calera Creek: Arizona Avenue downstream to the railroad tracks
The construction phase of the Lower Calera Creek portion of Valley Water's Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project is expected to be completed by the end of January 2023. After completing the project, Valley Water will continue plant maintenance for three years to ensure plant establishment.
Construction activities are from Arizona Avenue past North Milpitas Boulevard to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) railroad tracks. Crews work Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The work involves:
- Demolition of an outdated concrete channel downstream of North Milpitas Blvd.,
- Widening of creek channel for additional stormwater flow capacity,
- Constructing floodwalls and maintenance roads, and
- Mitigation planting with native plants.
The floodwalls will be built next to the existing maintenance path, with varying heights from five feet up to nine feet high in the section near Jacklin Court.
Past public meeting
Below are the materials from the informational virtual public meeting Valley Water held in 2021 to update neighbors on the project's benefits and what to expect during construction.
Agenda: Lower Calera Creek Agenda
Presentation: Lower Calera Creek Presentation
Public meeting recording: Meeting video
Click here to view the project shell with a map of the area, benefits, and timeline.
The flood protection improvements along Lower Berryessa Creek between Abel Street to Calaveras Boulevard were completed in July 2020. Construction on the Calera Creek segment of the project, located between the VTA/BART rail crossing and about 800 feet upstream of Arizona Avenue, started in June 2021 and is expected to be complete by the end of December 2022.
Updated December 2022.
Below is a listing of past neighborhood notices related to this project. Please note that timelines and images may change as the project proceeds toward completion.
- 2019 Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project - Phase 2 Remediation Work Notice (Spring 2019)
- 2019 Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project - Phase 2 Lower Calera Creek Design Update Notice (Summer 2019)
- Lower Berryessa Creek 2018 Pre-construction notice
- Lower Berryessa Creek Project FAQ (Updated August 2018)
- Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
- Addendum (July 2018) Redesign of Reaches A and B of the Lower Calera Creek Element
- Lower Berryessa Creek Fact Sheet
- Calera Creek Fact Sheet
- Tularcitos Creek Fact Sheet
The Santa Clara Valley Water District's Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project, when completed, will protect 2,447 parcels in Milpitas from the threat of a 100-year flood event, which has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in any given year. The Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project includes both the Upper Berryessa Creek portion and the Lower Berryessa Creek portion.
The Lower Berryessa Creek portion of the project, which includes Calera and Tularcitos creeks, will protect 1,823 properties in Milpitas, between Milpitas High School and E. Calaveras Boulevard (north to south) and the Union Pacific Railroad to Highway 680 (east to west).
The Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project extends approximately 1.7 miles through Milpitas, from its confluence with Lower Penitencia Creek, south to Calaveras Boulevard. The project also includes about 2.1 miles of Calera and Tularcitos creeks. These two smaller creeks are tributaries to Berryessa Creek and must also be modified to prevent water from overflowing their banks. This project will protect vast portions of the City of Milpitas from flood events when complete.
Phase 1 - Completed
This phase stretches along Lower Berryessa Creek, from the confluence at Lower Penitencia Creek to Abel Street. The construction of Phase 1 was completed in December 2016. The flood protection improvements included earthen levees on the east and north sides of the creek. They included concrete floodwalls on the west and south sides of the creek. Revegetation of freshwater wetlands was also established within the creek channel.
Completed floodwall and levee near Gill Memorial Park in Milpitas
Phase 2 - Lower Berryessa Creek (between Abel and Calaveras) completed Summer 2020.
This phase has two segments. The first segment of Phase 2 is along Lower Berryessa Creek, stretching from Abel Street to Calaveras Boulevard. The flood protection improvements for this segment included improved earthen levees on the north side of the creek and concrete floodwalls on the south side of the creek. A riparian habitat area was also included within the creek channel. These major construction activities were completed in 2018. The second segment of Phase 2 is along Calera Creek, stretching from the Lower Berryessa Creek confluence to Milpitas High School. The first section from Milpitas High School to Arizona Avenue was completed in 2021 and included a raised U-frame channel and concrete floodwalls on both banks of the creek. In addition to these flood protection improvements, wetlands with native vegetation were established within the Calera Creek channel.
The flood protection improvements along Lower Berryessa Creek between Abel Street to Calaveras Boulevard were completed in July 2020. The project's final phase of construction on the Calera Creek segment, located between Arizona Avenue past North Milpitas Boulevard to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) railroad tracks, is expected to be completed by December 2022.
Completed floodwall on Calera Creek downstream of Arizona Avenue
Typical cross-section of Phase 2 channel improvements (facing south)
Phase 3 - Planning
Phase 3 of this project stretches along Upper Calera Creek and Tularcitos Creek. The flood risk reduction options for this phase are currently being studied, and the potential funding sources are being identified. Once this planning phase is completed, Valley Water will obtain the necessary permits from regulatory agencies before starting construction on Phase 3.