On Friday, August 5, Mayor Pat Burt participated in phase one of a massive flood-control project along the San Francisquito Creek that is designed to provide more than 5,700 homes and businesses in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park with 100-year creek flood protection.
Mayor Burt was joined by officials from the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA), members of the state Senate and Assembly, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the groundbreaking ceremony took place atop a levee at Friendship Bridge in East Palo Alto.
The $41.35 million project's first phase spans a 1.5 mile area along the creek from the San Francisco Bay to U.S. Highway 101 that was heavily damaged in the 1998 flood. Following the devastating flooding, officials in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the San Mateo County Flood Control District formed the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to work on a solution.
The work in phase one is expected to take two years and includes:
• New floodwalls near private property constraining the channel
• Widening the channel by building a new levee through the Palo Alto Golf Course
• Rebuilding the existing levee adjacent to East Palo Alto homes
• Excavating decades of sediment buildup in the channel
"The project has been decades in the works and is the first in the country to address 100-year flood protection with sea-level rise, and it is a model for other projects," said Burt.
Phase two of the SFCJPA Flood Protection Project could include bridge replacements, channel widening and underground flood walls. A draft Environmental Impact Report for this phase is scheduled for release and public comment next year.