Watch CBS News

Levee Project Launched to Protect Flood-Prone South Bay Community of Alviso

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- The Santa Clara Valley Water District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have broken ground of a nearly $200 million project designed to protect the South Bay from the threat of rising sea levels.

The Corps of Engineers is building a 15-foot levee in North San Jose near the community of Alviso. The project would triple the size of the current makeshift levee system in the area.

"With the reality of climate change, we know that sea level rise is imminent. And the goal is to protect this coastal community of Alviso, to protect the infrastructure that it around here," said Santa Clara Valley Water District spokesperson Matt Keller.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein helped secure $177 million in federal funding to build the four-mile-long levee. People living in Alviso say they welcome anything that will reduce the threat of future flooding.

"I'm glad because it sucks when it floods. You can lose everything. I'm glad that they're doing that," said area resident Letty Solano.

The water district says the current levees provide minimal protection and could not have withstood the looming threat of rising sea levels.

"Those existing berms there are not FEMA certified. They're really just the muck from the bay piled on top to create a low barrier," said Sunshine Julian, Capital Engineering Manager for the water district.

Construction is expected to last roughly two years with a completion date in early 2024.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.