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February 12, 2019


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When Salem's 3rd bridge is eventually built, it needs to be the right bridge.
The cockamamie bridge location voted off the table WAS NOT the right bridge or path forward to meet the maximum number of objectives desired.
The HWY 22 east - west connection WILL eventually be built.
The only question is; when?

The Council did the right thing for the wrong reasons. City staff knew that the bridge would not happen anytime in the near future but wanted the EIS to go forward because they feel that it would make it easier when the time came for a project to actually happen. This would make sense if this possible future bridge is sited where the current plan proposes - but a future Council could very well decide to locate it elsewhere. If the EIS process was completed, it could be revived at a later time simply by completing a review process that would consider any changes to circumstances over time but if the site changes, the process would have to begin at step one. It then becomes a question of whether continuing to devote resources makes sense and the basis for this decision should have had a lot to do with how likely or unlikely a change of siting were to occur. For many decades, ODOT has worked toward the "straight shot" approach connecting Highway 22 on the east of the river to Highway 22 west of the river. The possibility that that will be the eventual solution is very real so, on that basis, Council's ending of the process is appropriate. (Costs for a third bridge has been and will always be primarily the responsibility of the State. Highway 22 is a State Highway. When City representatives first went to ODOT in 2003, they must have been ecstatic because they saw an opportunity to save money that they could devote to other projects. As to why this project was doomed from the start, the bottom line is that: 1. Salem lacked the political clout to get federal funding: 2. Other projects in the state were more important, and: 3. Around 2006, when the process began, it was clear that the amount of federal dollars available for future state transportation projects would become increasingly limited.)

The HWY 22 East - West connection will be very costly in it's construction costs mainly due to it's overall length.
However, the secondary requirements that are already in place such as the wonderful I-5 connection at exit 253 must be taken into account.
Looking at a map, you will see a curve on HWY 22 W right before the Rosemont exit that points almost directly at Mission St.
That is the point at which Interstate and Intrastate commercial traffic as well as tourists, and commuters headed north and south would take the exit, AND REMAIN ON 22 across the river, to the west bank, continue on 4 lanes of fly-over until 13th st where HWY 22 returns to 4 lanes.
Intersections between 13th st and Lancaster would need some rework as entry / exit would require ramps. NO intersections.
Brian, do you really want Salem to be a bike friendly city?
Do you really want vibrant streetscapes with outdoor cafe's?
If so, it's time to get real and support REMOVING non essential traffic from our downtown.
Until then you are just belly aching and bloviating.
Hugs and kisses! XOXOXOXO

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