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Water flowing freely again in San Francisquito Creek

Original post made on Sep 6, 2013

A century-old concrete barrier in the San Francisquito Creek has been removed, a triumph for the steelhead trout, conservationists said this week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 5, 2013, 5:33 PM

Comments (13)

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Posted by big picture
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

small victory I guess, but what about Searsville Dam? I'd like to see the Weekly carry this story further to maybe spur that process along. Stanford has been diverting and using water from this creek for over a century to water its precious golf course and other facilities... how does that still happen when the native steelhead and coho in the creek are in serious trouble? (I believe the coho are listed as endangered)
Come on Weekly, I demand you do better!

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Posted by Berry
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

"Perhaps it's just me, but the cost of over a quarter of a million dollars to get rid of a bit of decrepit concrete in a creek seems rather mind-boggling."

Coulda hired some laborers and rented a jack hammer and got the job done for about $2k! Who's running this show?!

Why was the dam installed back in the day?

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Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

With all the hype, I was expecting the Colorado River. So disappointing.

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Posted by Hey hey hey
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

At least this is a step in the right direction, though more costly than necessary. Suspect someone generously padded the bill

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Crescent Park Dad is a registered user.

Like it or not, removal of a 50'year old dam probably has some hazardous/environmental considerations given the site. Not saying the cost was too high, but the job certainly wasn't a simple jackhammer and wheel burrow job.

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Posted by Can-I-Borrow-A-Barrow-Buddy?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

> but the job certainly wasn't a simple jackhammer and wheel burrow job.

Interesting. The canals in Britain were built with shovels and wheelbarrows before jackhammers were invented. Guess that Brits were lucky not to have had access to the blogs like this one, back in the day.

And to think that the pyramids were built without power tools, also!

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm

My point was that given the environmental purpose of the project, I'm guessing that the demolition required several measure to minimize or eliminate any contamination due to the demo process.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

And this cost almost a third of a million dollars??? No wonder cities, town, and the USA are broke.

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Posted by Buddy-Can-I-Borrow-A-Barrow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:22 am

[Post removed.]

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Posted by ugly
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

[Post removed.]

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Why pick apart what Crescent Park Dad said? His posts express what I was actually told by creek volunteers in the know about the weir's demo. All this knit-picking by cost from people in a wealthy city is eye-rollingly ridiculous. You sound like Athertonians!

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Posted by YUMMM
a resident of Monroe Park
on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:50 am

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Interested Citizen
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

A project of this nature involves the following costs:

Engineering design - The weir was a grade control structure and removing it without engineering a replacement grade control system that also lets fish pass would cause the channel drop previously present at the structure to "rip" upstream, potentially causing major damage at other infrastructure. The replacement grade control is largely underground, but it is there, and a design such as this requires input from a licensed engineer, hydrologists, etc.

Permitting - Permits must be obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Regional Water Quality Control Board, US Army Corps of Engineers, and perhaps others. Preparing these applications and seeing them through to approval is a bit of work.

Construction - Construction must be coordinated in time per the permits. The stream must be diverted. Heavy equipment must be brought in to place the enormous rocks now controlling the stream grade (they are underground, you can't see them). Downstream water quality must be controlled. Construction access and the project site must be restored and re-vegetated to pre-project conditions. In most cases post-constrcution monitoring is required to make sure the stream channel and re-vegetation continue to recover consistent with permit requirements.

Although this is not a comprehensive list, this is a bit of what is involved. From someone who knows what this type of project costs, the price tag on this one was actually very low due to the dedication and volunteerism on the part of many involved. They deserve congratulation and praise and I am sorry to see all the criticism.

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