Sausal Creek Daylighting

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Portola Valley's new Town Center Campus provides residents with a destination point to learn, gather, and play. As part of the new campus, the town committed to daylighting Sausal Creek, which flowed inside an underground culvert and provided little habitat value.

ESA led a multi-disciplinary team of landscape architects, architects, civil and structural engineers to daylight Sausal Creek. The restoration is based on reestablishing geomorphic conditions that are the foundation of stable but dynamic ecosystem functions, including flow conveyance and flood protection, aquatic and riparian habitat values, and sediment transport. The daylighting project reconstructs 350 feet of channel with in-stream structures such as large woody debris, boulder clusters and riffle-pools, and biotechnical bank stabilization. Areas adjacent to the stream are designed to flood during high flow events, providing detention storage on the site and reducing peak flow rates downstream. A reduction in peak flow rates may assist with reducing flood hazards and erosion potential in areas downstream. We developed biotechnical applications in coordination with planting plans to stabilize and revegetate the creek banks.

ESA successfully managed a large consultant team in support of the Town's vision for the project. We defined the basis-of-design and developed the restoration design plans, details, and specifications, and worked with regulatory staff for permitting.

Specialized Services

  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling