Merkley, Wyden Announce Major Funding From New Infrastructure Law for Tillamook Bay, Surrounding Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After many years of advocacy on behalf of Tillamook Bay, where infrastructure problems at the Port of Garibaldi impact local residents, commercial fisherman, and tourists, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the allocation of $62 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed by Congress and signed by President Biden last fall to address critical repair needs of the South Jetty.

Degradation of the South Jetty has been a growing public health hazard in recent years. The failing jetty has created dangerous conditions in the navigation channel, leading to boats capsizing and multiple deaths and injuries. Without restoration of the jetty, the communities surrounding Tillamook Bay are also at serious risk of major flooding.

“The health of Tillamook’s economy goes hand-in-hand with the health of the port, and local residents and businesses should not be burdened by unsafe conditions caused by severely degraded infrastructure,” said Merkley. “The bipartisan infrastructure plan was a critical step in addressing Oregon’s infrastructure, and I’m pleased the South Jetty will get the restoration it needs to provide a safer environment for tourists and residents of the Tillamook Bay community. I’m proud to have fought for this funding, and I will continue to fight for more federal investment in ports that support local businesses and allow communities to thrive.”

“It is long past time we made critical investments in the safety and stability of South Jetty, one of Garibaldi’s major economic hubs, which is long overdue for crucial upgrades,” Wyden said. “I was proud to have fought for the funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and am gratified to now see it going toward ensuring the Port’s continued safety and viability.”

“The Port of Garibaldi has been working very hard with our partners and elected officials to secure the needed funding for the South Jetty project,” said Mike Saindon, General Manager of the Port of Garibaldi. “Restoration of the Tillamook Bay jetty system is critical for the continued economic sustainability and growth of the entire region and safety of all commercial and recreational users of Tillamook Bay.”

The IIJA funding will be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to repair the head and trunk of the South Jetty. Previously, Merkley was instrumental in securing $600 million for small ports and Army Corps Navigation funding in Fiscal Year 2020. The following allocations will also be made to infrastructure projects around the state:

  • $22,797,000 to McNary Lock and Dam to upgrade septic systems, rehabilitate pump stations, and replace downstream gate anchors
  • $6,652,000 to Cougar Lake for structural and electrical replacements
  • $3,168,000 to John Day Lock and Dam for water and irrigation systems, and bearing shoes replacement
  • $2,740,000 to Hills Creek Lake for structural repairs
  • $298,000 to Depoe Bay for seawall analysis