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Lower Silver Creek

Construction update

(May  2014) - The Santa Clara Valley Water District is making great progress on the Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project. Work on this significant flood protection project is taking place at several neighborhood locations from Story Road to Cunningham Avenue (see map to right). Summer 2014 work includes widening the creek channel, adding floodwalls and lengthening bridges to accommodate high flows from winter rains. Construction work within this area is expected to begin as early as May 1, 2014.

Project construction, along with the completion of future work at Lake Cunningham by 2017, will protect homes, schools and businesses from a 1% flood event * (also known as a 100- year event) and will make the area eligible for removal of the flood insurance requirement currently imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by end of 2019 (estimated).*

Construction of new bridges and a bridge extension at Story Road, known as concrete "box culverts," start this summer. Work will require lane closures and shifting of traffic as workers construct a new, longer bridge over Lower Silver Creek. Lane closures and shifting of traffic at Story Road will occur through fall 2014. In addition, work between Story Road and Cunningham Avenue will require lane closures at Murtha Drive, Moss Point Drive, Ocala Avenue and Cunningham Avenue through fall 2014.

Your Recovery Act tax dollars and a CA State Bond at work

The Santa Clara Valley Water District and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have been working on a multi-purpose project along Lower Silver Creek to protect nearly 3,800 homes and businesses from a 100-year flood event. In spring 2009, some Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project improvements were identified as “shovel-ready” projects and were approved to receive $18 million in federal economic stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Recently, we received word that the project will receive another $2.2 million from ARRA, bringing the total to $20.7 million. This new infusion of these funds helped complete the project from Interstate 680 to the Lyndale neighborhood.  

In late 2011, the Santa Clara Valley Water District was awarded a California State Dept. of Water Resources grant which will fund the completion of this project through Lake Cunningham.  The $25 million state grant will fund the completion of flood walls and vegetation work up to Lake Cunningham.  The grant will also fund the design and construction of the final phase of the Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project through the Lake Cunningham area.  The completion of this final phase of flood protection work will prevent flood waters from a 1% flood event (also known as a 100-year flood) from leaving the creek and flooding streets and homes in the current flood hazard area and will remove the mandatory flood insurance requirement for this neighborhood.  

The project encompasses multiple segments, referred to as “Reaches”. Improvements for Reaches 1, 2, and 3 (from Coyote Creek to Interstate 680) were completed in 2006. Over the past 50 years, Lower Silver Creek has experienced severe flooding that resulted in damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties. 

Reach 6 construction (2009)
The first phase of construction began in late August 2009 and continued through October on either side of Ocala Ave. 

Const. start                  traffic safety                     Erosion protection Lwr. Silver

Excavator widening              
the creek.
Traffic controls              
as trucks enter
grasses taking root
on new banks.

Reach 4 and 5 construction (2010 through 2012) The second phase of the project includes the widening of the creek channel and the addition of concrete flood walls from Interstate 680 through the Dobern and Lyndale neighborhoods.  This section also required the rebuilding of two major bridges at Capitol Expressway and Jackson Ave.     

 Traffic control will be provided, and flaggers will be onsite during work hours to ensure everyone’s safety. Equipment used will include excavators, bulldozers, loaders, scrapers, jack hammers, small cranes and dump and transportation trucks. Typical construction noise can be expected during work hours.

 Flood protection project commended in federal report

The White House recently released Vice President Joe Biden’s list of 100 significant stimulus projects from across the United States. The Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project, which is a joint project between the NRCS and the district, was a significant local feature on this celebrated list of stimulus fund accomplishments.

The entire report is available for download here. (Vice President Joe Biden's list of 100 significant stimulus projects)


Project contact:
For more information about this project, contact: Ted Ibarra, Project Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District, at (408) 630-2067. logos      state logo

Groundbreaking Ceremony Aug. 27 photos  and a short video.

Groundbreaking Ceremony invitation

Construction Progress Sept. 2009 photos

Design Proposals for Reach 4 and 5  Meeting displays for 4b,  Meeting display for 4c and meeting display for 5


Our partners for this project:

Natural Resources Conservation Service

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


ARRA Certification: Section 1511