Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced on Jan. 20 that the city of Cascade Locks has earned a $2.4 million federal investment to make power supply infrastructure improvements that will help support business growth in Hood River County.

The news follows a letter to the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) from Wyden and Merkley in support of the project to help Cascade Locks become more resilient to natural disasters by placing circuits underground, hardening a transmission line, and buying a new substation.

“This investment in Cascade Locks will have huge and positive long-term ripple effects for public safety, jobs and small business growth throughout the Gorge,” Wyden said. “I’m glad our work with the city to secure these resources for Hood River County has succeeded and will keep working to keep federal infrastructure investments flowing to rural communities throughout Oregon.”

“Now more than ever, as our communities continue working to get through the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis, we need to do all that we can to invest in a strong foundation for the future. That means ensuring that essential needs of Oregonians in every corner of our state are met,” said Merkley. “I’m pleased that this multi-million dollar investment is headed to Cascade Locks to make critical power supply upgrades, and will continue to do all that I can to ensure that our Gorge communities receive the support they need to thrive.”

The EDA estimates the $2.4 million federal investment will create 66 jobs, save 82 jobs and leverage $22.2 million in private investment.

“The City of Cascade Locks thanks Sens. Wyden and Merkley for their support of this project and is thrilled to have been awarded this grant,” said Gordon Zimmerman, Cascade Locks city administrator. “This year-long project will upgrade our electric system to make it more bad weather resistant and to increase our electrical capacity by a third. The increase in reliance and capacity will allow the city to support more businesses in our business park and more housing in our community.”