The origins of the Chula Vista Channel Flood Control Project go back to the early 1980’s. The Chula Vista Subdivision and Pete Kitchen Subdivisions had been developed with federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the early 1970’s, prior to the establishment of the County’s Flood Control Program and availability of flood maps. The project was a response to a history of periodic flooding of the area dating back to the mid 1970’s.
A Project Cooperative Agreement (PCA) was executed on December of 2005, by the county and federal government to construct the project. Construction of the project began in early 2008, and approximately 40% of the project was completed.
The project was halted due to problems encountered with the relocation of the sewer line, and further analysis created problems that negatively impact the cost and further delay construction of the project. During the construction, the bridge crossing the Nogales Wash was demolished leaving produce companies, emergency responders, and residents with limited access to Old Tucson Road.
While the county was hoping for a flood control project that would alleviate the flooding hazard for the Chula Vista Subdivision and remove them from the floodplain, it was clear that the funding was not available. The project would be entirely dependent upon annual congressional appropriations which would take approximately 25 years more to construct the project.
The Santa Cruz County Flood Control District Board of Directors, at their regular board meeting on July 14, 2010, directed staff to begin to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers (CORPS) on a plan to immediately replace a bridge that was demolished and a process to transition the CORPS out of the Chula Vista Flood Control Project. The county and CORPS have agreed to terminate the original project, and construct a bridge with the remaining available funding.