Pajaro River Flood Risk Management (FRM)


USACE, San Francisco District

Project Location

Watsonville, CA

Services Provided

Value Engineering Study

Due to the recent Pajaro River levee breach, this project became a major priority for the San Francisco District.  This project will reduce flood risk to the City of Watsonville, the Town of Pajaro, and surrounding agricultural lands.  SVS facilitated a Value Engineering Study focused on Reaches 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.  Reaches 2, 3, and 4 were at the feasibility phase of design development, and Reaches 5 and 6 were at the 30% Design Development Report phase.  For the left and right bank of Reach 5, approximately 5,000 lineal feet of floodwalls or a combination levee with a floodwall on top will be constructed where urban development prevents raising existing levees.  For the left and right bank of Reach 6, the project included construction of a new levee, approximately 5,900 feet in length, constructed 50 to 75 feet from the edge of the Corralitos Creek channel.

The Value Team proposed installing a full height seepage barrier, installing an underseepage barrier, using steeper levee slopes, revising or eliminating riprap, avoiding railroad impacts, using vinyl sheetpile, reusing levee material, adding a drainage blanket, narrowing levee crest, reconfiguring the inspection trench, constructing a new detention pond, adding a drainage structure under Highway 1, constructing internal drainage in Reach 1, modifying the existing levee material for reuse, using design-build procurement, identifying material waste locations within the project vicinity, using transient flow analysis, and creating a stream restoration project to stabilize the channel.

This Value Engineering study had accepted cost savings totaling over $150 million and approximately 3 years of schedule duration.  This represented a return on investment for the Government in excess of 700:1.

For more detailed project information and results, please contact the SVS Project Manager directly

Kyle Schafersman, Risk & VE Project Manager PE, CVS, PMP, RMP