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

It is important to get involved in this process because your input will help shape the parameters of this project. Check the event calendar for specific dates of public events or submit a comment.



Each decision point is briefly described below.

1. Management Structure and Decision Process

  • This first decision point ensures agreement about the project process, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and membership of the various participating groups.
  • This decision point was met with the approval of the Decisionmaking Structure and Process Memo by the Oversight Team at their September 27, 2006 meeting.

2. Purpose and Need

  • The second decision point establishes the need for the project and defines the problems the project is expected to address. The product of this step is an agreed-upon Purpose and Need Statement that is used throughout the project and in the environmental impact statement (EIS).
  • This decision point was completed when the Task Force recommended the Purpose and Need Statement on November 15, 2006 to the Oversight Team, which adopted it on November 21, 2006. The CETAS agencies reviewed the document and gave their concurrence (did not recommend any changes) in March 2007.

3. Evaluation Framework

  • The third decision point creates a tool to assist in evaluating alternatives. The evaluation framework sets criteria and performance measures for gauging the effectiveness of alternatives—how well each alternative solves the identified problems and how well each alternative performs against the broad range of stakeholder values.
  • As an example, if an area of concern is impacts on parks, the evaluation measure might be “number of acres of park land affected.” This number would be determined for each alternative being studied.
  • The product of this step in the process is an agreed-upon set of evaluation measures (Evaluation Framework Memo) and a description of how the measures will be applied to the alternatives in subsequent steps in the process.
  • This decision point was completed after the Task Force recommended and the Oversight Team adopted the Evaluation Framework in March 2007.

4. Range of Alternatives

  • The fourth point in the decision process determines the range of alternatives to be considered. At this point, all alternatives or solutions that could potentially solve the identified problem are considered. The aim is to ensure stakeholders have been consulted and all of their ideas get put “on the table.”
  • Newsletter 2 explains the project’s progress through May 2007. The June 26 and 27 open houses presented the information about the preliminary concepts and asked for public comments for possible improvements or new ideas.
  • Read the August 2007 Project Update memo, which describes the actions taken during that month by the Task Force and Oversight Team.
  • This decision point was completed after the Task Force recommended and the Oversight Team adopted 13 preliminary alternatives to be studied in greater detail, on August 2007.

5. Alternatives for EIS

  • The fifth decision point applies the evaluation criteria (established in decision point three) to the alternatives (developed in decision point four), screening out those that do not meet the minimum requirements or the project Purpose and Need. A small number of alternatives are selected for detailed evaluation in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS).
  • Read the December 2007 Project Update memo, which describes the actions taken during that month by the Task Force and Oversight Team.
  • In early 2008, the range of alternatives recommended by the Task Force and Oversight Team was modified to respond to advice from the Federal Highway Administration and the Oregon Department of Justice.
    • The Orchard Heights to Hood/Shipping (previously called yellow) alternatives were removed from further consideration because of their substantial impacts on Wallace Marine Park and the inability to meet federal regulatory requirements, called Section 4(f). This is consistent with the direction from the Task Force and Oversight Team to not advance these alternatives further unless they could meet the Section 4(f) requirements.
    • The Hope to Tryon Crossing Location (New Bridge Only) alternative was added back in, to insure that the Draft EIS considers an adequate range of alternatives. This alternative had previously been dismissed because it was more expensive and did not provide as much transportation benefit as the Hope to Pine/Hickory Crossing Location. However, studying it in the Draft EIS will allow for a more thorough look at the impacts of this alternative in relation to the others under consideration. This was previously referred to as the “orange” alternative.

6. Preferred Alternative

  • In the sixth decision point, the draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) studies the impacts of the alternatives. The Task Force and Oversight Team used the DEIS to help make a recommendation on a preferred alternative and funding strategy. The public  had a chance to comment at a public hearing/open house in May 2012. After all comments were gathered, a preferred alternative was selected (February 2014) and is being assessed in the Final EIS.

7. Record of Decision

This is the current phase of the project

  • The seventh decision point is FHWA’s approval of the Environmental Impact Statement, including the preferred alternative. All local land use actions must be completed by this time and the funding and mitigation plans must be in place. The Final EIS document is anticipated to be published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the Federal Register in May 2018.