Palo Alto Flood Protection Scheme Kicks Off

Mayor Pat Burt recently 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 will include:

  • 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.

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