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Adobe Creek Restoration Project

Brief description:
The Adobe Creek Upper Reach 5 restoration project is now complete. A completion celebration was held on Feb. 21, 2009 at the Hillview Community Center and at Edith Avenue Bridge.

The purpose of the Adobe Creek Upper Reach 5 Restoration Project is to restore the creek by repairing the eroded channel, stabilizing banks, removing accumulated sediment, improving the channel conveyance capacity, and providing environmental benefits to the creek ecosystem.

Adobe Creek has a long history of flooding, with flood damages occurring in 1952, 1955, 1983, 1986, 1995 and 1998. The creek has problems such as localized flooding, creek-bank erosion, failing channel stabilization structures, sedimentation, barriers to fish passage and insufficient maintenance access.

In May 1999, water district staff prepared the Adobe Creek Watershed Planning Study, containing an Engineer's Report and Final Environmental Impact Report. A design for Adobe Creek Reach 5 was completed in 2002.

However, there was significant community opposition to the proposed creek design and also to the proposed use of Edith Park for the mitigation planting. In September 2003, the district, in partnership with local municipalities and the Adobe Creek Watershed Group, initiated a collaborative effort to revisit the goals and objectives of providing flood and erosion protection for Reach 5 of Adobe Creek.

The collaborative effort included district staff, Adobe Creek Watershed Group members, other creekside residents and citizens, and staff from the City of Los Altos, the Town of Los Altos Hills and various regulatory agencies.

Project goal:
Project elements were developed and evaluated by the collaborative. The project elements were identified through the collaborative process, with decisions aimed at balancing the needs of all collaborative members.

  • Improve sediment transport
  • Provide more channel capacity
  • Improve fish passage through the reach
  • Protect the eroded channel
  • Restore the riparian corridor
  • Project contact:
    For more information about this completed project, contact Tony Ndah, project manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District, at (408) 265-2607, ext. 2679.