Who’s involved?

The primary organizations and groups involved in the project are shown in the decision-making structure graphic and explained in detail below.


General Public

Public open houses and workshops, an interactive project Web site, and on-line surveys will provide opportunities for meaningful participation and information exchange between the public and project team throughout the project. A series of newsletters will provide updates on project progress to those on the mailing list.

Task Force

The Task Force (TF) will provide a balanced representation of stakeholder interests, nearby communities, and geographic areas as well as a communication link with those interests and communities. Members of the Task Force include leaders of neighborhood and civic groups on both sides of the river, public agency staff, and representatives of interest groups with a stake in the project. Members were identified by the Project Management Team.

Responsibilities of the Task Force members include:

    • Representing their constituents’ perspectives during group deliberations
    • Communicating project progress with their constituents
    • Preparing for and participating in approximately 16 three-hour meetings between September 2006 and December 2008
    • Attending four public outreach events between the fall of 2006 and December 2008
    • Working to develop consensus recommendations to the Oversight Team at each step in the decision process

The Task Force members are:

  • Agencies:
    • Tim Potter, ODOT
    • Bob Cortright, Department of Land Conservation and Development
    • Mike Jaffe, Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG)/Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS)
    • Austin McGuigan, Polk County Community Development
    • Cindy Schmitt, Marion County Public Works
    • Mark Becktel, City of Salem Public Works
    • Glenn Gross, City of Salem Community Development
    • Sam Litke, City of Keizer
    • Steve Dickey, Salem-Keizer Transit District
    • Cindy Callahan, FHWA
  • Neighborhoods and Civic:
    • Don Homuth, Co-Chair of West Salem Neighborhood Association
    • Darlene Strozut, Highland Neighborhood Association Board Member
    • Eric Bradfield, Grant Neighborhood Association Board Member
    • Warren Bednarz, West Salem Business (West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board)
    • Tom Clark, West Salem Businesses
  • Interest Groups:
    • Warren Bednarz, BAR Industries (Metro Area/Downtown Business)
    • Doug Parrow, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
    • Russell Beaton, PhD., Retired (Land Use Interest)
    • Mark Brown, Bureau of Land Management (Natural Resource Interest)
    • Leon Fisher, Siletz Trucking (Freight Interest)
    • Jose Lopez and Manuel Arellano, Hispanic Community Representatives
    • Betsey Belshaw (Parks Interest)
    • Mike Karnosh, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
    • Fred Harris, North Salem Business Association

Oversight Team

The Oversight Team (OT) includes elected or appointed officials of local agencies and jurisdictions with regulatory responsibility for, or strong interest in, the project.

Responsibilities of the Oversight Team include:

    • Setting the policy framework for the project.
    • Representing the interests of their agencies or jurisdictions in group deliberations.
    • Communicating project progress to their fellow elected or appointed officials and to their constituents.
    • Preparing for and participating in approximately 10 two-hour meetings between September 2006 and December 2008
    • Reviewing recommendations from the Task Force and other background materials; then making decisions at the project’s key decision points.
  • The Oversight Team consists of the following:
    • Sam Brentano, Marion County, County Commissioner
    • Bob Krebs, Salem-Keizer Transit District, Board Chair
    • Anna Peterson, City of Salem, Mayor
    • Dave Cox (2006-07), Phillip Ditzler (2007-12), and Emily Lawton (2012-current), FHWA, Division Administrator (non-voting member)
    • Craig Pope, Polk County, County Commissioner
    • Sonny Chickering, ODOT, Region 2 Manager
    • Cathy Clark, City of Keizer

In addition, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) staff participates in an advisory (non-voting) capacity. FHWA will be represented by Phillip Ditzler, Oregon Division Administrator.

Project Management Team

The Project Management Team (PMT) is comprised of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), City of Salem, Polk County, SKATS MPO, and consultant project managers, along with other key staff from these agencies and the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments as needed.

Collaborative Environmental and Transportation Agreement for Streamlining (CETAS)

CETAS has been established to coordinate and streamline the regulatory reviews and permitting functions of the key agencies involved with Draft EISs (EIS). Members include representatives from key federal and state agencies responsible for protecting air, water, wildlife, and cultural and land use resources. This committee must formally concur on the Salem River Crossing project’s decisions related to the Purpose and Need, Evaluation Framework, Range of Alternatives, and Preferred Alternative.

Participating and Cooperating Agencies

In accordance with the requirements of the federal SAFETEA-LU legislation of 2005, invitations were sent to government agencies who might be interested in participating in the project, including a number of agencies who are not otherwise involved in the project. Agencies that have expressed a desire to participate in the project development process will be given the opportunity to comment at each of the decision points.

Local Government

Elected officials of jurisdictions in the project area will be briefed as needed, or upon request, during the project. The elected officials will recommend the preferred alternative before forwarding it to ODOT/FHWA.

Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG)

The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG) is a voluntary association of 42 local governments in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

The Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for coordinating transportation planning and investments for the Salem-Keizer area. New transportation projects in the area must receive approval from the SKATS Policy Committee. The SKATS Policy Committee will be briefed regularly during the Salem River Crossing project. Also, many Policy Committee members participate on the project Oversight Team.

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is the lead state agency for the Salem River Crossing project. In addition to serving on the project Oversight Team and Task Force, ODOT must approve the preferred alternative from the EIS process before it is forward to FHWA.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The FHWA is the lead agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that governs proposed actions requiring FHWA funding or approval. FHWA is the agency that will approve the Draft EIS and the Record of Decision.