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Oregon 22 is a high-speed, high-volume, expressway, freight route, and highway of statewide importance. It is used by a large number of recreational travelers and serves industrial manufacturers and commercial outlets located throughout Oregon.
The highway also serves local businesses and residents, and is frequently used by local farmers for moving equipment and transporting crops to market. It is a major commuting route, used by residents in outlying communities to reach their jobs in Salem.
The section of OR 22 outside of Salem has experienced significant safety problems in the past. Most crashes have involved vehicles turning onto or leaving the highway, and are often attributable to increased traffic on the road, the number of highway access points, and poor visibility. It is expected that safety will become an even bigger issue in the future as traffic volumes and congestion increase on this highway.
This project comes from the OR 22 Expressway Management Plan (pdf, 8.4mb) adopted by Polk County in March 2010. The Plan contained a number of possible projects to improve safety on OR 22 and to prepare for an eventual interchange project at the intersection of OR 22 and OR 51. ODOT has refined and analyzed a number of improvement options for this area identified in the Plan and is now recommending a preferred alternative to move forward.
Detailed design work will begin in early 2016. This work will involve intensive survey, geotechnical exploration for the potential need of retaining walls, and computer design of the desired road layout. Once completed, we will have information on impacts to specific properties.
There is no known neighborhood association to represent the residents of SW Salem north of OR 22, so ODOT is looking to create a Neighborhood Focus Group to provide input on the preferred option design. The focus group will be made up of project area residents and businesses as the project proceeds through the development phase. If you are interested in learning more about serving on this group, please let us know below.
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