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January 6, 2012 > San Jose Silver Creek Project receives final funding

San Jose Silver Creek Project receives final funding

Submitted By Marty Grimes

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the California Department of Water Resources announced the release of final awards for the Proposition 1E Round 1 Stormwater Flood Management Grant Program. Among the awards is $25 million for the Santa Clara Valley Water District to complete flood protection work on Lower Silver Creek in San Jose.

Earlier flood protection work on Lower Silver Creek, from its confluence at Coyote Creek to I-680, was completed in 2006. Construction on the next sections from I-680 to Lake Cunningham was put on hold in 2007 due to a lack of funds. The project was able to resume, after it was awarded $18 million in federal stimulus funds in 2009 and an additional $2.2 million in 2010, through the district's project partner, the National Resources Conservation Service.

With the 2011 award of $25 million in state funds, the project can now be completed, protecting 3,800 properties within the FEMA 100-year flood zone in San Jose's East Side. The entire project, from I-680 to Lake Cunningham, costs $55 million. The construction is expected to support 550 to 1100 jobs and is scheduled to be completed by 2014.

In addition to flood protection and bank stabilization, the Lower Silver Creek project includes enhanced habitat and vegetation, including the creation of nine acres of freshwater wetlands, enhanced fish passage, improved water quality, and new recreational amenities for low-income and minority neighborhoods in eastern portions of San Jose, including pedestrian bridges and multiple-use trails.

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