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Sandy • The Jordan River Commission on Thursday approved $500,000 in state grants to help fund 11 projects, the single biggest chunk to bridge the last Salt Lake City gap in the Jordan River Trail — the so-called North Temple gap.

The $154,639 for the Salt Lake City project added up to just one-third of what was requested and a fraction of the $6.6 million cost for a 1,200-foot bridge that spans two active freight rail lines.

Concerns were raised at the commission meeting at Sandy City Hall that the partial grants awarded to some of the bigger projects might doom those efforts. But Laura Hanson, the commission's executive director, expressed confidence that supporters would be able to secure the remaining funds from other sources.

The $500,000 appropriated by the Legislature to be distributed by the commission is intended to provide a 25 percent match for projects on and around the river. But that money likely will trigger much bigger investments.

"With these matching contributions, the grant funding is being leveraged into $12.8 million in investments in the river corridor," the commission said in a news release.

The Jordan River runs through three counties — Utah, Salt Lake and Davis — and 15 cities. Its uses range from flood control to recreation to wildlife habitat.

Among the larger grants:

West Jordan • $81,811.49 for a multiphase Big Bend habitat-restoration project that includes a community fishery, trails, overlook structure and 1 mile of restored river corridor.

South Jordan • $51,750 for the Mystic Springs Nature Walk, a restored series of wetland ponds, trails, interpretive signage and picnic pavilions.

Utah Open Lands • $50,000 for help in purchasing a $2 million 1,000-acre conservation easement at Gillmore Ranch, near the river's Great Salt Lake delta.

Salt Lake County • $35,000 for a plan to identify locations and designs for a series of canoe and kayak launches.

Wasatch Rowing Foundation • $29,000 for two boat launches and storage for local rowing clubs.

Salt Lake City • $24,238 for a second phase of Three Creeks Park, new park space at the confluence of Red Butte, Mill Creek and Emigration creeks with the Jordan River.

Salt Lake County • $23,659 for a series of interpretive signs to tell the story of the river and the role it plays, along with efforts to restore that ecosystem.

Saratoga Springs • $21,300 for three canoe and kayak launches .

After signing contracts, recipients will have until June 2017 to complete the projects.