Creek flood protection work underway

On June 5th, Caltrans began work on its San Francisquito Creek Bridge Replacement Project.  Caltrans’ initial objective for this project was to improve the flow of traffic on Hwy. 101 and the adjacent frontage roads, East and West Bayshore, and improve the structural integrity of the bridge.  Because the Hwy. 101 bridge has been a source of flooding and has the lowest creek flow capacity of any channel crossing, in 2008 the SFCJPA approached Caltrans about also improving the flow of water beneath the roadway.

Caltrans agreed, and began working with the SFCJPA to enable the new bridge to accommodate a 100-year creek flow. The SFCJPA is grateful to Caltrans for partnering with us to solve this critical piece of our flooding problem. For more information, please see the City of Palo Alto Highway 101 bridge project webpage, the Caltrans project webpage and a recent Palo Alto Online article.


SAFER Bay feasibility study underway

Our Strategy to Advance Flood protection, Ecosystems and Recreation along the Bay (SAFER Bay) project is underway. We are looking at different alignments of infrastructure alternatives to protect Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and Palo Alto against extreme tides with Sea Level Rise, and working with other agencies to improve shoreline habitat and close a gap in the Bay Trail. 

In 2015, we will gather data and public comments on the potential alignments. On January 28th, the League of Women Voters hosted the first public meeting to discuss alignment alternatives.  Click here to view the slide presentation as a three minute video. This Fall, we’ll begin to design and develop an EIR of the preferred alternative for the cities of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. In the meantime, contact us and see a March 5, 2014 weekly Almanac cover story on this project.


What we saw and what we're doing

Between 6:00 a.m. on Dec. 11 and 11:00 a.m. on Dec. 12, the San Franciscquito Creek watershed west of Interstate 280 received over 6 inches of rain. However, in part because the ground was so dry following the drought, the Creek flow downstream of Middlefield Road during the storm equaled only about 40% of the Dec. 23, 2012 flood event. At left is a picture at West Bayshore Road at 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 11.  The SFCJPA and City of Palo Alto, with the help of the Santa Clara Valley Water District and Stanford, recently installed new hardware and software to improve our flood early warning system. We are using the Dec. 11 storm to calibrate and make reliable this new technology to bring it to you soon.

Two additional resources for the next storm: a map of sandbag locations in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park; and the City of Palo Alto storm webpage.


Next Meetings: Sept. 4 Board Finance Committee & Sept. 11 Board Emergency Prep Committee, both at 11:00 am


What We Do

The SFCJPA is an independent regional government agency founded by three cities and two countywide agencies divided by San Francisquito Creek and united by its watershed and floodplain. We lead projects along the creek and S.F. Bay that reduce a proven flood threat, enhance ecosystems and recreational opportunities, and connect our communities. We receive funding from the agencies listed below, as well as federal, state and private sources.

Public Meetings

The SFCJPA Board meets frequently throughout the year, and agency staff host and participate in discussions with community groups, city councils, and others. Please join us at a meeting listed below:

More Meetings »


The SFCJPA and its partners produce a wealth of information on all aspects of the watershed and our plans to improve it. To learn more, click on one of the links below.

More Documents »

Know Your Watershed

The links below will give you a better perspective on the Watershed, our place in it, and opportunities to get involved to appreciate and improve this incredible natural resource.