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Upper Berryessa Creek Flood Protection*

About This Project

This project is a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to plan, design and construct flood improvements to protect homes in Milpitas and San José, as well as Silicon Valley’s commercial district, from a 1% (100-year) flood flow. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) 10-mile extension project spans from Warm Springs Station in Fremont to the North San José Berryessa area. The new Milpitas Station is underground and is located in the Berryessa Creek floodplain. The Berryessa Creek project’s completion is critical to the BART extension’s planned operations.


*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

Los Coches St. Bridge Completed
Milpitas and San José
Start FY 2007/ Finish FY 2020
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($46.7); State of California; Department of Water Resources (Proposition 1E grant)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates


Current status:

  • This Project included channel improvements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and bridge replacement by the County of Santa Clara.
  • The channel improvements work was completed in December 2017.
  • The Montague Bridge replacement was completed in June 2018.
  • Mitigation planting by the USACE was completed in January 2019.  The plant establishment period will be for 3 years.
  • The USACE turned over maintenance responsibilities to Valley Water in May 2018. The USACE also provided a draft Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual for review by Valley Water in May 2018.  The USACE finalized the O&M manual on July 2020 for maintenance by Valley Water.
  • Valley Water received comments from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board on our draft Adaptive Management Plan and Stormwater Management Plan and will be working to address the comments by 2022.

Prior to the start of construction, the USACE and Valley Water held a community meeting. Here are materials from the September 2016 meeting:

Please contact your neighborhood liaison Jose Villarreal at 408-630-2879 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

Updated October 2021


For more information: 

  • Karl Neuman, project manager, (408) 630-3059

  • Jose Villarreal, public information, (408) 630-2879

  • Sign up to receive project updates via email.

  • Use “Access Valley Water” to submit questions, complains or compliments. Click on the "Projects planned for my neighborhood" tab and select "Berryessa Creek (upper) flood protection project - Calaveras Blvd. to Interstate 680".



Upper Berryessa Creek looking downstream towards the Montague Expressway bridge along the widened earthen channel and new maintenance road.

Reports & Documents

Project Fact Sheets

Meetings and Notices

Sept. 12, 2016 - Community meeting hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program 

  1. Local and federal flood damage reduction for 1,662 parcels including 1,420, 170 businesses, and 5 schools/institutions. 

  2. Using local funds only, a reduced project would extend from the confluence with Lower Penitencia upstream to Montague Expressway, modifying 2 miles of channel and protecting approximately 100 parcels. 


  • Protects up to 1,662 businesses and homes in Milpitas and San José from a 1% flood, saving potential damages in excess of $527 million 

  • Provides protection for more than 30 miles of streets including Highway 237 and Montague Expressway 

Geographic Area of Benefit

Milpitas and San José

History & Background

Flooding History and Project Background 

The Berryessa Creek Flood Risk Management Project encompasses approximately 2.2 miles of Berryessa Creek from Calaveras Boulevard to Interstate 680. 

The Upper Berryessa Creek flood protection project offers a tremendous opportunity for a project to increase flood protection and stabilize the channel banks. Valley Water will continue to work with the community and cities to provide critical flood protection needs for Milpitas and San José.

Upper Berryessa Creek has a history of flooding, having experienced major events within the project area in 1982, 1983, and 1998. In 1982, the bank overflowed south of Calaveras Boulevard. To date, the creek has a 25 percent chance of flooding each year.

Flooding can result in millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, schools, and other infrastructure. Disruption to businesses and transportation networks such as the upcoming BART station at Montague Expressway will result in significant loss of productivity and revenue. One of the project’s goals is to avoid utility and transportation shutdowns and prevent potential damages from a 100-year storm event* exceeding $528 million (2011 value) per event. Approximately, 500 businesses and homes would be affected. The Santa Clara Valley Water District has initiated design of a flood protection project along 2.2 miles of the creek from Calaveras Boulevard to Interstate 680.

* A 100-year storm event, sometimes called a one-percent flood event, has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in any given year.

About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

In November 2012 the voters of Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as a countywide special parcel tax for 15 years with a sunset date of June 30, 2028. This Program replaced the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, which voters approved in November 2000.

The Safe, Clean Water Program was developed with input from more than 16,000 residents and stakeholders and was created to match the community’s needs and values. The voters of Santa Clara County identified five priorities:

Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

Priority C: Protect our Water Supply from Earthquakes and Natural Disasters

Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools and Highways

Other: Six projects from the Clean, Safe, Creeks Plan have been carried forward into the Safe, Clean Water Program.  

Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these Program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the Program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board.

In addition, the Program requires three independent audits, the first of which was conducted in FY 2017.

View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the District website.