Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection

Lower Berryessa Creek Protection Project, Phases I & II, Santa Clara Valley Water District – Milpitas, CA

The Lower Berryessa Creek Flood Protection Project provides 100‐year flood protection to more than 1,800 homes, schools and businesses along 1.7 miles of Lower Berryessa Creek in Milpitas. Phase 1 stretches from the confluence at Lower Penitencia Creek to Abel Street, for a total length of 2,400 feet. This project raised the existing levee on the east side of the creek and constructed concrete floodwalls with CIDH pile foundations on the west side of the creek. The improvements included an enhanced tidal and freshwater wetlands area.

Phase 2 included improvements to Lower Berryessa Creek from Abel Street to Calaveras Boulevard, for a total length of 6,000 feet. This project raises levees, constructs floodwalls including CIDH pile and spread footing foundations on both sides of the creek, reconstructs a pedestrian bridge, constructs transition structures and headwalls, constructs access roads and ramps with Armorflex paving and includes vegetation removal and re‐vegetation.

The project required permits from numerous agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the City of Milpitas, Union Pacific Railroad, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.  The project required close coordination with the adjacent property owners.

Ghirardelli provided construction management services for the District to administer the contracts between the District and its contractor and to manage and control the project risks during construction including cost, schedule, quality and safety. Our Resident Engineer was the primary point of contact between the contractor and the District, and our inspectors monitored and prepared daily inspection reports to document field activities to ensure that the work was in compliance with the plans and specifications.

The Resident Engineer organized and conducted the weekly progress meetings and was responsible for schedule management, processing monthly progress payments, RFI and submittal management, negotiating change orders and monitoring the contractor’s compliance with safety requirements. The Resident Engineer and inspection team worked closely together to identify potential problems as early as possible and resolve them quickly in order to minimize cost and schedule impacts.

One of the challenges on the project was coordinating the work with the adjacent BART Extension Project, which was under construction by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Another challenge was due to the utility relocation work that was supposed to have been completed prior to construction. This delay would have pushed the construction into a fourth season, however, Ghirardelli staff worked with the contractor to re-sequence and accelerate the work in order to complete the project on schedule.