Valley News -

By Joe Naiman

Consultant agreement approved for San Jacinto River drainage project


Last updated 6/8/2018 at 12:44pm

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors members are also board members for the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, and the supervisors approved a consultant agreement, May 22, between the district and Albert A. Webb Associates for the San Jacinto River master drainage project.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote authorizes a three-year contract for $1,343,800. Albert A. Webb Associates and the district will work together to develop an initial project for California Environmental Quality Review analysis, and Albert A. Webb Associates will also prepare the environmental documentation necessary to adopt the proposed master drainage plan.

The board of supervisors called for the formation of the Lower San Jacinto River Advisory Committee in December 2015 to assist the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District in establishing a vision to manage the San Jacinto River floodplain between Ramona Expressway and Railroad Canyon. The advisory committee included county Supervisor Marion Ashley, the general manager and chief engineer of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, representatives from the Western Riverside County Regional Transportation Authority, the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the county’s Transportation Department, the Eastern Municipal Water District, the Endangered Habitats League, the New Perris Specific Plan, the Green Valley Specific Plan and the River Park Mitigation Bank.

During five meetings between April 2016 and October 2016, the committee was asked to recommend and rank public health and safety, transportation, environmental and economic goals, to evaluate conceptual management plan alternatives against the ranked goals and to endorse a preferred flood mitigation concept which would serve as the foundation for California Environmental Quality Act analysis and the development of a master drainage plan. The preferred alternative includes improving Ramona Expressway to ensure that the roadway will not wash out during a 100-year storm event, building levees along the east side of Interstate 215 at the San Jacinto River to provide 100-year flood protection, constructing wide berms to direct non-storm-related urban runoff from above I-215 into existing culverts beneath the freeway and into the proposed low-flow channel, creating a deepened low-flow channel from the Perris Valley Channel to Ethanac Road and installing an underground storm drain to convey low flows from Ethanac Road to Railroad Canyon.

The preferred alternative would support the conservation of more than 4,000 acres of existing floodplain while accommodating incremental development of approximately 2,700 acres.

The county supervisors as the board of the special district approved the Stage 3 conceptual planning report for the San Jacinto River in April 2017 and directed district staff to develop a master drainage plan consistent with the conceptual planning report. The preliminary environmental and engineering analyses will be further developed and refined, which may modify some elements of the project.

The Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District issued a request for proposals and qualifications in September 2017. Albert A. Webb Associates was selected based on relevant experience, technical competence, past performance and the firm’s proposed work plan. Albert A. Webb Associates is headquartered in Riverside and has a Murrieta office.


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