Santa Clara Valley Water District McKelvey Park Flood Detention Basin

More Than a Flood Detention Basin

The Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) McKelvey Park Flood Detention Basin is an efficient use of space in a highly developed portion of Silicon Valley. This detention basin is an integral component in the Permanente Creek Watershed, helping to protect 1,664 parcels, including homes, businesses, and institutions, from the 100-year storm event. The project enhances the outdated existing public park by modernizing the existing baseball park, providing a new community mini park, preventing trash from entering the creek, preventing roadway flooding, reducing future maintenance costs, replacing some aging City and private utilities, and providing opportunities for environmental enhancements and trail extensions.

Harris provided construction management and inspection services for construction of the $30 million detention basin, a five-acre baseball park located at the corner of Park Drive and Miramonte Avenue in Mountain View. Floodwalls, embankment, and levee improvements were constructed north of Highway 101 to Amphitheater Parkway in Mountain View.

The project included excavating and lowering the park approximately 20 feet, constructing retaining walls around the perimeter. Construction also included restoring the playing fields at the lowered ground level. The buildings constructed included the Little League Field Building (scorekeepers booth, concession stand, storage room, the Big League Building (scorekeepers booth, concession stand, restrooms, storage room), and the Community Building (large community room, restrooms, storage room, electrical room).

Community Involvement

The District sought public input during planning and design, and maintained contact with stakeholders throughout construction. The District held multiple public meetings and workshops, input from which drove the evaluation of additional improvements at McKelvey Park. The mini-park and playground were a direct result of public input, essential for community buy-in. The new community building at McKelvey Park provides a location for community groups to gather. Youth sports leagues were actively engaged in facility designs.

Environmental Components

Site improvements minimized creek impacts by incorporating soldier- and sheet-pile retaining walls and thoughtfully timing work to install the weir cap, which diverts water into the detention basin. The project also maximized the number of trees protected during construction. Retaining wall type selection resulted in a smaller installation footprint, allowing this vegetated buffer to remain between the park, adjacent residences, and school. The project enhanced water quality by installing a trash capture unit, bioretention, pervious pavers, and by planning to clear the field level of stored materials, in order to minimize water quality impacts during detention operations.

Core Elements

  • Large Retaining Walls
  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • 3 New Buildings
  • Pedestrian/Bike Improvements
  • ADA Improvements
  • Parking Lot
  • Building Construction
  • Storm Drain
  • Stormwater Inspection
  • Pump Station
  • Mass Excavation
  • Roadway Construction
  • Playground and Mini Park
  • Clean Water Facilities

Meet the Team

Brandon Hays, PE, QSD/P, PMP

Brandon Hays, PE, QSD/P, PMP

Director / Program + Construction Management

Jules Feher

Jules Feher

Senior Project Manager / Program + Construction Management

Tracy Bradford

Tracy Bradford

Practice Support Manager / Program + Construction Management


Santa Clara Valley Water District


Mountain View, CA




Construction Management