Salem’s Federal Infrastructure Grant Applications Clear Preliminary Round

Posted on December 14, 2022

—Three City of Salem projects are moving forward for federal grant dollars available from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  These three projects have made it through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s pre-application process for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant program.

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant program makes federal funds available to states, U.S. territories, federally recognized Tribal governments, and local governments for hazard mitigation activities. It does so with a recognition of the growing hazards associated with climate change, and the need for risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation and resilience with respect to those hazards.  These include both acute extreme weather events and chronic stressors, which have been observed and are expected to increase in intensity and frequency in the future.

On Monday, December 12, 2022, the Salem City Council voted to authorize the City Manager to apply for FEMA funding to design and construct the replacement of the Geren Island Water Treatment Facility Bridge, replace the Downs Communications Tower Control, and make improvements to the Ferry Street Pump Station.  These three high-priority projects affect a large portion of our community and were competitive with the grant criteria.

If the City is successful in its application for these funds, the grant will require a 25-percent match in funding from the City.  FEMA’s 75-percent portion of the grant award would equal approximately $8.7 million.  Because these three projects are already in the adopted Capital Improvement Plan, the 25-percent match has already been programmed.  You can learn more about Capital Improvement Plan projects planned for your neighborhood and browse the interactive map on the City’s website.

More about the projects:

  • Replacing the Geren Island Drinking Water Treatment Facility Bridge:  The City cleans and treats drinking water from the North Santiam River at Geren Island for Salem area residents and for use by businesses in our community.  The original 1965-era bridge will be replaced with a new structure that meets all design standards for both strength and seismic loading conditions. The open area under the new bridge will be sized to convey 100-year design storm flows with additional consideration given to estimated increases in flows due to climate change. The estimated construction cost is $5 million.
  • Downs Communications Tower Control Replacement:  The Downs Communications Tower is one of the main hubs for communicating automated information from our utility pump stations and reservoirs to our Operations Building on 22nd Street.  The proposed project will replace the 135-foot-tall steel lattice tower, installed in 1962, with a new communication / supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) tower that conforms with current structural codes and will be seismically resilient. The estimated construction cost is $1.3 million.
  • Ferry Street Pump Station Improvements:  Originally constructed in the 1960s, the existing Ferry Street sanitary sewer pump station serves a large area in downtown Salem. During large storm events, sanitary sewer flows to the pump station rise to the pumping capacity, mainly due to stormwater infiltration and inflow rather than a higher volume of sanitary sewage. A failure at this pump station could result in sanitary sewer backups in basements, overflows onto downtown streets and businesses, and potential raw sewage flowing into the nearby Willamette River.  The project will relocate and replace the existing pump station with a new and larger pump station with greater capacity. The new pump station will be located in a more accessible location, be constructed to meet current seismic standards, and be sized to meet increased flows due to higher stormwater runoff patterns. The estimated construction cost is $5.3 million.
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