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SDSU details plan to avoid flooding at Mission Valley campus

Posted: 4:16 PM, Mar 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-15 00:40:13Z
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San Diego State University on Thursday detailed a $300 million plan to avoid the massive flooding that has engulfed the Mission Valley Stadium site, which it plans to turn into a West Campus.

The current stadium sits on a 166-acre site that is largely sloped, causing runoff from the nearby San Diego River and Murphy Canyon Creek to pool. In 2010, the flooding got so bad that it went onto the field and threatened the Holiday Bowl football game.

Voters in November approved the SDSU West measure, paving the way for the university to turn the site into a Mission Valley campus with a smaller football stadium and a river park. The project is currently going through the environmental process.

"It started out as a technical problem and it became kind of a foundation of our design and our vision," said Laura Shinn, SDSU's director of planning.

SDSU presented its plan to mitigate the flooding to the city's environmental committee Thursday. The idea is to turn most of the sloping site into an elevated, flat area for the campus and stadium. Then, it would build parts of the river park on a slope along the edge, giving the water a place to go.

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A drawing of how SDSU plans to configure its Mission Valley campus to avoid flooding once it's built

"The difference is instead of running off of asphalt, the water will come down through greenspace and it'll be treated and it'll infiltrate in a much more environmentally friendly way," Shinn said.

The university hopes to have its environmental plan approved by January, and to open its new stadium in time for the 2022 season.