Preferred Alternative

The “Salem Alternative” was developed by the Salem City Council after hearing concerns from city residents about potential impacts caused by Alternative 4D. The initial “Salem Alternative” took much of the design from Alternative 4D, but minimized the impacts by reducing the size and extent of the local road changes, reducing the number of lanes on the bridge from three to two in each direction, and minimizing elevated structure (ramps and viaduct). The project team refined the alternative so that it could function from a traffic engineering perspective, while respecting the policy input provided by the Salem City Council. Based on this analysis, a detailed description and map were developed. The Oversight Team selected the preferred alternative (below) in February 2014.

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) has been developed for the preferred alternative. Read the full description of the preferred alternative.


Alternatives in the Draft EIS

Transportation System and Demand Management (TSM/TDM)

During the alternatives development process, a stand-alone Transportation System Management and Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM) alternative was studied and determined not to meet the project Purpose and Need all by itself. Instead, the project team recommended that appropriate (TSM/TDM) elements (including transit) be included as part of each alternative in the Draft EIS.

After greater study, it became clear that many of the strategies that would accomplish the transit/TSM/TDM objectives are not within the control of the roadway agencies that would implement the alternatives. To make sure the Salem River Crossing project still supports the goal of decreasing single-occupancy vehicle travel across the river, the project team is pursuing the following approach.

First, the Draft EIS will assume that the future demand (year 2031) for vehicle trips across the river is 8% less than otherwise forecast. Basing the project design on a reduced traffic volume anticipates a high degree of success in increasing non-auto travel across the river and also helps prevent the project from being overbuilt.

Second, the Project Management Team (PMT) has initiated the Salem River Crossing Alternative Modes Study to identify potential transit and other alternative mode improvements that could be made either at the same time as, or separate from, the Salem River Crossing project. This study will help assure that all potential TSM/TDM options are fully studied and that they can be implemented independent of the Salem River Crossing project if needed. The PMT will work closely with the Salem-Keizer Transit District and other stakeholders to develop recommendations for increasing the use of alternative modes as a way to meet the goals assumed in the Draft EIS. This study was finished  before the publication of the Salem River Crossing Draft EIS.