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Sunday, May 19, 2024
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ContributorValley Water completes project to protect Milpitas residents and businesses from flooding

Valley Water completes project to protect Milpitas residents and businesses from flooding

Later this month, Valley Water will be hosting an event to celebrate the completion of the Lower Penitencia Creek Improvements Project in Milpitas, one of many projects we are working on to help protect residents and businesses from flooding.

With the completion of this project, we can continue providing flood protection for residents and businesses along a one-mile stretch of Lower Penitencia Creek. This is a significant effort, and we want to celebrate with you.  Please join us for a ribbon-cutting event on June 20, 2023, at 11 a.m. We will gather at Lower Penitencia Creek, where Milmont Drive and California Circle meet. 

Our agency built a new levee and floodwalls and raised an existing levee along a one-mile stretch of Lower Penitencia Creek from its confluence with Coyote Creek to San Andreas Drive in Milpitas. Although Valley Water completed some flood improvements in the existing channel in the 1980s, we needed to increase the creek’s capacity to carry water. During the rainy season, water flows from Berryessa Creek into Lower Penitencia Creek. Valley Water is currently working on flood improvements along Berryessa Creek, resulting in greater storm flows in Lower Penitencia Creek. 

To minimize the impacts on neighboring properties, our agency used a new technology that produces less noise and vibration during construction. This specialized equipment was used to drive about 3,100 steel piles into the ground. These steel piles range from 25 to 41 feet tall and interlock to create a 1.3-mile-long floodwall. 

A close-up view of the new floodwall along Lower Penitencia Creek.

As part of the project, Valley Water also established .36 acres of new wetland habitat near McCarthy Boulevard and Interstate 880. We planted wetland vegetation to create tidal marsh habitat, providing long-term benefits to species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, an endangered species.

I’m proud to say that our agency completed this project within budget despite various challenges, including the pandemic, supply chain issues and weather delays. This accomplishment is a testament to our workforce and the contractor’s cooperation.

Several agencies helped us along the way. The California Department of Water Resources provided funding for this project’s planning and design phases. The City of Milpitas was also a cost-share partner and worked closely with us during construction. I would like to thank those agencies and others who helped us complete this project for the community. 

I also extend my gratitude to the Milpitas community. This winter’s continuous storms delayed our ability to repave trails and plant native vegetation adjacent to the new floodwall. But I’m happy to announce the trail between San Andreas and Milmont drives is back open. We anticipate opening the section of trail between Milmont Drive and California Circle Road by June 9. Valley Water understands that access to these city trails is essential to the neighborhood. Thank you for being a patient partner in this project.

Stay safe and healthy,

Director Richard P. Santos

Valley Water

As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for the northern areas of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; Alviso; Milpitas; and the north San Jose and Berryessa communities. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707

 

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