OGDEN — Thanks to a large grant from the federal government, Ogden City is looking to complete a restoration of the Weber River where it flows through west Ogden.
In November, the city was awarded a $365,725 Hazard Mitigation Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — a windfall that will be put toward an approximately half-million dollar project to improve the Weber River near the city’s west Ogden Trackline development, said city Engineer Justin Anderson.
As part of the project, a spillway, a debris catchment basin and an earth dam will be built to contain water and debris near the city’s kayak park just off of Exchange Road. Anderson said the project will also include fixing certain features at the kayak park that have been damaged over time, making improvements to the river’s habitat, fixing undertow problems, improving banks and installing a fish passage structure and a water flow gaging station.
The project is included in one of 12 items in a fiscal 2019 budget amendment being considered by the Ogden City Council. The amendment will increase the city’s current budget revenues by nearly $530,000.
Anderson said the Central Weber sewer line cuts through the river in the area where work will be done and much of the bank work will be done in conjunction with the demolition of the old Swift building.
The city has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency to prepare the building for demolition for several months. The 101-year-old structure will likely be razed in the spring.
The iconic warehouse, with the prominent red and white “Swift” sign painted on its southern wall, sits on the eastern edge of Trackline. The massive redevelopment project includes 122 acres between 24th Street and Middleton Road from the railroad tracks to G Avenue.
The Swift building was once home to the defunct Swift meat packing plant and was most recently used by Smith & Edwards as storage facility. The city considered letting the building stand and restoring it, but it was determined to be in too poor of shape to save.
The city completed a two-year, $6 million restoration of the Ogden River near the downtown area in 2012, a project that was spearheaded by Anderson.
“Just like the Ogden River restoration, we can’t make (the Weber River project) all things for all people,” Anderson said. “But we do want to fix some of the problems there.”