Nine Utah cities have penned wish lists for this holiday season, but they're headed for Washington, D.C. — not the North Pole.

Led by a nearly $780 million request from Salt Lake City, Utah cities are seeking a $1.6 billion piece of President-elect Barack Obama's expected $600 billion to $850 billion federal stimulus package, according to a new report of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

In all, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is reporting there are more than 15,000 "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects in 641 cities, representing a $96.6 billion infrastructure investment at the municipal level.

The projects would generate an estimated 1.2 million jobs in 2009 and 2010, according to the report.

Salt Lake City's top priority is a $65 million rebuild of the North Temple viaduct, said Ben McAdams, Mayor Ralph Becker's senior adviser for intergovernmental affairs.

Federal assistance would allow the city to shorten the viaduct by 660 feet from 300 West to 400 West and widen it to accommodate the light-rail line connecting downtown and the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Design for the TRAX line is under way, and construction is set to begin early next year. Without federal assistance, it's likely an additional viaduct will be constructed for the line parallel to the viaduct, McAdams said.

"When you look at what (the federal government is) hoping to do with the economic stimulus package, that project fits squarely within the definition," he said. "It's a project that without some type of (federal) funding is not going to happen. It's an infrastructure project, and it's a project that really will assist in the redevelopment of downtown."

City officials say a rebuild of the North Temple viaduct and acceleration of the Sugar House streetcar project would have a "multiplier effect" on the local economy, creating more than just construction jobs.

Other cities eyeing the stimulus package include 5,900-resident Salem, which is seeking $345 million — most of which would go toward a regional wastewater treatment plant.

Orem has a $220 million wish list focused mainly on roads and water systems. The Utah County city is seeking $20 million each in improvements for Jim Reams Memorial and Richard Manning Memorial streets. Orem also is requesting $40 million for a community telecommunications system.

Provo has $107 million in "ready-to-go" projects, including a $25 million community recreation center and $20 million to partially fund construction of a railroad underpass at 200 West.

Brigham City also has listed $107 million in projects, including $24 million for a compost facility transfer station and recycling center.

Herriman's wish list totals $42 million, including $12 million for an energy-efficient City Hall. And Sandy wants $17 million for reconstruction of 1300 East.

Also listing projects in the report are Murray ($10.6 million) and Holladay ($8.3 million).

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com