Most major flood control infrastructure in western Alameda County is 50 or 60 years old. Even though the District has been maintaining and upgrading its infrastructure over time, portions are nearing the end of their useful service life and will require major upgrades or replacement.
Some examples of aging infrastructure include worn-out mechanical and electrical equipment in the pump stations; deteriorated concrete floodwalls or channel linings; earthen levees that have been eroded or penetrated by rodent burrows and roots; tide gates that are corroded or otherwise inoperable; and damaged dam spillways.
The District is facing decisions on whether to continue to repair its aging infrastructure or replace it. When infrastructure reaches the end of its useful service life, ongoing repairs can often cost more than the cost of a full replacement.
Each flood control project is unique and requires careful analysis and planning before building begins. Projects are chosen that provide the greatest benefit to the community while minimizing adverse impacts to the environment. Projects that have greater benefit to public safety or efficient flood control operations are given highest priority.
Ultimately, the course of action must be affordable within the budget allocated for the District zone in which the project is located.