Location: Vista, California
Because this creek restoration project runs through an urban center, a flexible design program was developed from a collaboration of river engineering, hydraulics, urban design, environmental, ecology, landscape, bioengineering and business development. Flood protection and floodplain hydraulics were the primary design challenges since the entire project is located within a mapped flood hazard zone from a watershed with a tributary drainage area of more than nine square miles. Creative hydraulic solutions were implemented to address seasonal water flow in the creek, contain regional shallow overflow flooding from upstream sources beyond the project and to incorporate the natural riverine feature between two sections of engineered concrete channel. Restoration of the channel allows water to link the project's spaces together, offering the community a unique setting for leisure, recreation and entertainment. The unique blend of park and open spaces include pedestrian walkways and bridges, naturalized creek geometry, an amphitheater, decorative hardscape, and native landscaping. A re-circulating water feature and low-flow stormwater diversion system creates the riffle-pool complex of a natural stream.