The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) has completed the Alum Rock Fish Passage, a mitigation effort for the Mission Warren Area Improvements Project, a support project for the Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension.
This latest milestone, along with the completion of the Upper Penitencia Creek Improvement Project last year, marks fulfillment of environmental mitigation requirements related to the construction of the 10-mile, two station Berryessa Extension Project.
The Alum Rock Fish Passage enhances access for the threatened Central California Coast steelhead trout population in the area along the Upper Penitencia Creek near the Youth Science Institute in San Jose’s Alum Rock Park.
“This project exemplifies how protecting ecological habitats and establishing sustainability plans is the way SCVTA approaches all its construction projects,” said SCVTA General Manager Michael Burns. “It helps us comply with federal and state regulations, while ensuring the community that it’s important to us to be mindful of the environment.”
The Alum Rock Fish Passage project scope required a team of engineers, archeologists and biologists to work with the construction team to remove a five-foot fish barrier, expand a floodplain, conduct erosion repair and remove non-native vegetation. Through the construction of a series of chutes and pools, a fish ladder was created, allowing fish access upstream. During the stream diversion installation and de-watering process, crews were able to relocate all area steelhead and California red legged frogs, achieving a 100 percent survival rate. The new flood plain improves the habitat for the steelhead by providing refuge during high flows. An abutment to provide bank stabilization to preserve a 1930’s historic bridge was also built.
The majority of construction lasted through October 2012.