Two local infrastructure projects have received state grant funding.
The state Transportation Committee on Friday approved $1.54 million to help the Port of Astoria repair storm damage throughout the central waterfront, and $665,000 for Life Flight Network to build a new hangar at the Astoria Regional Airport.
Executive Director Jim Knight said the Port will have to pitch in $600,000 on the ConnectOregon grant, which requires a one-third local match. The Port’s original intent was to use the state grant to help repair 30,000 square feet of dock on the western side of Pier 2, where fishermen go to transfer their catch to seafood processors. But Knight said the Federal Emergency Management Agency decided Pier 2 should be included in areas needing repair after being damaged in December storms. He said the hope is to use the ConnectOregon grant as a local match on funding from FEMA, and vice versa.
“Our estimates originally were in the range of $10 million,” Knight said of the storm damage claims the Port turned into FEMA.
The $10 million encompasses seven separate projects, he said, and includes a projected $2.2 million project to repair the western side of Pier 2.
The state funded 39 multimodal projects worth $49.5 million for Connect Oregon VI. Dedicated to nonhighway projects, ConnectOregon was first approved by the state Legislature in 2005 and has funded more than 180 marine, aviation, public transit, bicycle, pedestrian and rail projects with more than $380 million in lottery-backed bonds. The Port has received funding for runway rehabilitation at the Astoria Regional Airport and the rebuilding of a dock on the eastern side of Pier 2.
The Port’s most recent grant application had initially looked unlikely to make the final cut, but gained momentum and barely squeaked in after Knight and state Sen. Betsy Johnson stumped for the project in Salem. “We would not have been able to get this without help from Sen. Johnson,” Knight said.
More than a year ago, Life Flight Network established its first coastal base at the airport, operating out of a mobile office and living space. The base in Warrenton covers the coast from Aberdeen, Washington, to Tillamook, airlifting patients to hospitals.
“I’m really happy for Life Flight, too,” Knight said. “This will help them more than double their crewing capacity.”
The state also approved $750,000 for Knappa-based Teevin Bros. to build mooring dolphins near the company’s docks in Rainier. The dolphins are structures not connected to the shore.
Paul Langner, the waterfront manager at Teevin Bros.’ Rainier yard, said the company’s project will add moorage space for tugs and barges needing to tie up on the Columbia River. Teevin Bros. has received more than $9 million over the past decade through ConnectOregon, including grants in four out of the program’s five funding cycles.