Stimulus-Funded Lower Silver Creek Construction Contract Approved

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Today, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously to award a construction contract to R&L Brosamer, Inc. for up to $29.8 million to begin the second phase of a federally funded flood protection and habitat enhancement project on Lower Silver Creek in San Jose.

This is a shining example of a federal stimulus project that is improving our communities while creating and sustaining jobs.

Today, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously to award a construction contract to R&L Brosamer, Inc. for up to $29.8 million to begin the second phase of a federally funded flood protection and habitat enhancement project on Lower Silver Creek in San Jose.

The project, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has been awarded $18.5 million in federal economic stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The construction contract approved on Tuesday is estimated to create or sustain between 600 to 1,200 jobs in the community.

“This is a shining example of a federal stimulus project that is improving our communities while creating and sustaining jobs,” said district board member Tony Estremera. “Thousands of residents and businesses along Lower Silver Creek will greatly benefit from this project for many decades to come.”

When completed, the entire project will provide increased protection from floods to nearly 3,800 homes and businesses. The improvement work stretches 4.4 miles from Lower Silver Creek’s confluence with Coyote Creek in downtown San Jose to Lake Cunningham. The first phase of the project, from Coyote Creek to Interstate 680, was completed in 2006.

In support of the project, Ed Burton, State Conservationist for NRCS California, said:

“NRCS has worked with the water district for over 40 years in providing flood protection to the residents of Gilroy and now those of San Jose. The previous work completed at Lower Silver Creek demonstrated that flood protection and environmental enhancement is possible in an urban environment. This fact was critical in receiving federal stimulus funds. This will provide needed jobs in the county and help demonstrate the intention of the ARRA.”

District board member Joe Judge praised the successful partnership with NRCS. “Thank you for recognizing that our partnership for the first phase of this project worked so well that you have continued your involvement in the next phase.”

The contract awarded today is to construct the second phase of channel improvements along the next 1.3 mile stretch of Lower Silver Creek, from I-680 to Story Road. Construction is expected to commence in September and be completed by the end of 2013. It will create 3.4 acres of urban wetland habitat, a low flow channel for fish passage and 6.3 acres of riparian plants adding shade, habitat and creek side aesthetics.

In August of 2009, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the project. It is the largest ARRA project funded through the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Over the past 50 years, Lower Silver Creek has experienced severe flooding that resulted in damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties. Even with the ARRA funding, the project is still short $30 million to be fully completed to Lake Cunningham. The district will continue seeking federal funding to complete the project.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages wholesale drinking water resources and provides stewardship for the county's five watersheds, including 10 reservoirs, more than 800 miles of streams and groundwater basins. The water district also provides flood protection throughout Santa Clara County.

Contact:
Marty Grimes            
Office: (408) 265-2607, ext. 2881                
Mobile: (408) 202-4398    

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