Salem River Crossing

2019 Update

On January 30, 2019, the Salem City Council held a work session to discuss the Salem River Crossing project. A report summarizing the Salem River Crossing project was prepared to respond to questions from the City Council and members of the public (see below). Following this work session, the City Council on February 11, 2019, voted to send a letter to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to take no further action on the remaining land use actions needed for ODOT to complete the Final Environmental Impact Statement for a new bridge. As a result of this action, city staff will work with ODOT and FHWA to complete the Salem River Crossing project with No Build as the preferred alternative. The option to do nothing, referred to as the No Build alternative, is always an acceptable option to conclude an Environmental Impact Statement process.
Title (with link to item)File Size
Salem River Crossing Q&A8194 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice A (Preferred Alternative)3618 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice B (SKATS letter to Council)516 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice C (FHWA Order on Repayment)1926 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice D (Bridge Cost Estimating Report)6058 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice E (ECONorthwest Funding Memo)758 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice F (Mission Street Retrospective)538 KB
Salem River Crossing Q&A - Appendice G (Wallace Marine and 4F Determination)7380 KB

Archive Information

The only option to travel west across the Willamette River in Salem, is the Marion Street Bridge. The only option for traveling east is the Center Street Bridge. Increased traffic and population growth are causing traffic levels on both bridges to exceed State and local standards.

Based on 2006 traffic count data, approximately half (46%) of the traffic using the bridges originates from or is destined for points in western Polk County and beyond. The other half (54%) originates from West Salem.


The general public along with representatives from local, state, and federal agencies are working together on the Salem River Crossing Projectto develop solutions that:

  • Meet the current and future transportation needs of the Salem-Keizer metropolitan area.
  • Are compatible with the urban and natural environments.
  • Achieve broad community and regional support.

Decision points

​The Salem River Crossing Project is organized around a series of seven decision points.

1. Management structure and decision process – Completed September 2006

2. Purpose and need – Completed March 2007

3. Evaluation framework – Completed March 2007

4. Range of alternatives – Completed August 2007

5. Alternatives for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – Completed early 2008

6. Preferred alternative – Completed February 2014

7. Record of decision – In progress

Land use actions

The City must take a number of land use actions in order to demonstrate consistency with statewide planning goals and compatibility with the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan. These land use actions are being processed together as Land Use Application Case No. CA16-04.   

Task force, Oversight Team, and other project meetings

Past project meetings are available on the project website.

The Project Library includes documents written throughout the project, for public meetings/open houses, and other reference materials.

City Council meetings and public input

August 11, 2017 (comment period ends)

December 5, 2016 (Deliberations)

October 12, 2016 (Joint public hearing)

  • Proposed land use actions, Case CA16-04 
  • Video

August 8, 2016 (Public hearing)

  • Proposed land use actions, Case CA16-04 

August 1, 2014 (Work session)

  • Presentation slides
  • Video

November 3, 2014 (Work session)

February 6, 2014 (Oversight Team meeting)

June 24, 2013 (Deliberations)

May 13, 2013 (Public hearing)

April 22, 2013 (Public hearing)

April 8, 2013 (Consent agenda staff report)

February 19, 2013 (Field trip and work session)

January 22, 2013 (Work Session)

December 17, 2012 (Work Session)

November 28, 2012 (Work Session)

November 5, 2012 (Public Hearing)

September 24, 2012 (Information Report)

August 23, 2012 (Task force presentation to Oversight Team)

July 9, 2012 (Work Session)

April 20, 2012 (60-day public comment period starts for Draft EIS)

February 13, 2012 (Information Report)

June 28, 2010 (Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement)

February 8, 2010 (Work Session)

September 28, 2009 (Work Session on Salem River Crossing Alternate Modes Study)

February 25, 2008 ( Work Session)

June 25, 2007 (Work Session)

January 8, 2007 (Work Session)

The following documents provide additional information about the project:

Aerial view of Riverfront park and two bridges crossing the Willamette River.

The Salem River Crossing Project is working toward a solution that will reduce traffic congestion on the two bridges that connect West Salem to Downtown Salem.

Contact us

Julie WarnckeTransportation Planning Manager Public Works Department