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Seven plans surface to control creek flooding

Original post made on Apr 25, 2008

Seven potential flood-protection projects were unveiled Thursday by planners for San Francisquito Creek, a sign that help may be on the way for thousands of at-risk residents and businesses. The alternatives follow an announced $3.5 million bail-out by Santa Clara County's water agency to replace missing federal funds.

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Comments (9)

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Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:59 pm

As I pointed out during the meeting, even though the work on the Middlefield and Chaucer bridges costs the most, it is the only alternative that will actually accomplish short term flooding control. None of the other alternatives will significantly cut down flooding, since the vast bulk of flooding is caused by the diversion of water caused by the too-narrow Chaucer bridge. Even the upstream retention basin proposal won't help, because the capacity proposed is only a fraction of that required to accomodate 1998-level flooding.

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Posted by Gus
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2008 at 11:45 am

Has anyone considered dredging the creek east of 101?
Cal Trans and the water district dredged an area under 101 and east of the bridge 100 yards. But then they stopped because they (Enviro's) wont allow them to clean out the rest of the creek. Just walk down the creek east of 101 and you can see the build up of sediment all the way to the bay.
If you have a clogged sewer line do you only clean out the first few feet?? or do you clean it out all the way??
Gus L.

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Posted by Art Kraemer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2008 at 3:50 pm

The most cost-effective solution that will give the greatest amount of flood protection the shortest time is to:
1. Fix the levees downstream of 101 to be capable of carrying 7200cfs (1998 flood level)
2. Add another tube under the 101 bridge capable of allowing at least 7200cfs to flow. Hopefully, Cal Trans will pay for this.
3. Modify the Chaucer Street bridge to allow 7200 cfs to pass, either by replacing the bridge with one that doesn't act as a dam or by adding a culvert to carry the extra flow.
4. Raise the banks 1 to 3 feet in a few places between Chaucer and 101. Now the 1998 flood level will stay within the banks all the way to the bay just like Mother Nature designed it.
5. Finally, add a retension basis upsteam of El Camino to hold the difference between 7200cfs (1998-flood level) and 9600cfs ( estimated 100-year flood level) The retension basin will then require much less land area than a retension basin required to hold the full 7200 cfs or the full 9600 cfs. Filling Lake Lagunita once every 100 years would do the job.

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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I don't understand the culvert stuff at the Chaucer Bridge, are they proposing to enclose the entire water flow there? I.e., enclose the creek? Or what?

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Posted by Art Kraemer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2008 at 6:32 pm

The culvert would be a pipe or tube that could pass the water that doesn't flow through the present small opening under the Pope/ Chaucer bridge but backs up against the bridge and eventually flows down Chaucer and into the various neighborhoods. It's thought to be less expensive than building a whole new bridge and wouldn't cause a major traffic problem during construction. The creek banks at the Chaucer Street bridge can carry about the same flow rate as the 1998 flood. If the brdge had been build correctly in 1948, we wouldn't have had this problem, and very little water would have been diverted from the creek at Chaucer in 1998.

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I don't understand why the Chaucer St. burdge isn't removed and when money is available ,rebuild it. The city actually admitted the city was responsible, in a large part, because of the bridge. So if new flooding occurrs the taxpayers will pay for flood damage again.

Many streets in Palo Alto have been closed down. and these are busy streets.
The city found $5,000,000 to build a little used tunnel near the University tunnel recently. No money to solve a potential flood problem.

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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 29, 2008 at 7:21 am

My nephew, a National Guard Engineering officer, has volunteered to have one of his units remove the bridge.

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Posted by flood victim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 30, 2008 at 8:50 am

Walter, Send in your nephew

Like this comment
Posted by stiedel raush
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 30, 2008 at 10:54 am

The JPA and the creek community has had more than enough of that family business junk for a decade. All hidden under the veil of secrecy. Enough. Hush hush about the D'Agosta-Murray situation for one more day.

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