Napa County plans to start Milliken Creek flood project this summer

March 13, 2017


A 1950s-era dam along Milliken Creek at the Silverado Resort and Spa golf course is targeted for removal to reduce flooding potential and remove a barrier to migrating steelhead trout. (Photo courtesy of the Napa Valley Register)
A 1950s-era dam along Milliken Creek at the Silverado Resort and Spa golf course is targeted for removal to reduce flooding potential and remove a barrier to migrating steelhead trout. (Photo courtesy of the Napa Valley Register)

Dozens of residents in a Silverado neighborhood may soon be able to spend winters without worrying that a monster storm could flood their homes, as happened a decade ago.

Napa County is on track to begin building a Milliken Creek flood control project this June. If all goes as planned, the project will include removing a small dam that blocks steelhead trout from migrating upstream. Solving the Millken Creek puzzle has involved stitching together up to $1.5 million in funding and ensuring excess water diverted from the Kaanapali Drive neighborhood doesn’t cause flooding elsewhere.

“It’s been a challenge. There’s no silver bullet for this project,” said Richard Thomasser of the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. The Kaanapali Drive neighborhood of more than 50 homes survived the big storms of 2017 without a major flood, but not without stress.

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On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors approved increasing a consultant contract by $187,625 to $593,370. That will allow Mead & Hunt to do additional design, pre-bid and construction service work for the Milliken Creek project. Money for the Milliken Creek project is coming from a variety of sources, among them a state grant, a Kaanapali Drive homeowners’ assessment and the Measure A flood control tax.

One proposed piece of the project is to remove a 13-foot-high, 1950s-era dam built across Milliken Creek to impound golf course irrigation water. It is a concrete shell filled with dirt with a corrugated steel culvert.

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