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Veneta to Eugene: OR 126 Road Widening Environmental Study

Do you use OR 126 between Veneta and Eugene? We need your feedback to help us plan for future improvements!

You can use this online open house to learn more about:

  • The area we are studying. 
  • The corridor plan.
  • The recommended solutions.
  • The project phases.
  • What elements we are studying as part of the environmental process. 
  • What’s next. 
  • How you can get involved.


Where is the project located?
What is the Fern Ridge Corridor Plan?
What are our recommended solutions?
How do we get from here to there?
What are we studying?
What's coming up?
Please share your comments – we want to hear from you!

Project Study Area

We are looking at a seven-mile section of OR 126 between Veneta and Eugene, from Huston Road to Terry Street. 

Project area mapOR 126 between the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast is an important route to the valley and I-5 for emergency services, daily commuters and freight delivering goods and services. 

This area is also a local resource for environmental education and outdoor recreation of all sorts. 

The seven-mile section we are studying is currently a two-lane road with narrow shoulders and no bicycle lanes or sidewalks for pedestrians.

We are looking at recommended solutions to improve the safety and mobility of the highway and how to balance them with the potential benefits to the community.

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Fern Ridge Corridor Plan

Learn more about how we got to the recommended solutions that we are now studying.

In 2011 and 2012, we worked with a consultant team of engineers, specialists and environmental scientists to help us with a study to identify and prioritize improvements to the highway. As part of the study, we reached out to local residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

The result of this effort was captured in the Fern Ridge Corridor Plan. The plan recommended solutions and safety improvements that were adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission in April 2013. View the Fern Ridge Corridor Plan

Since 2013, we have made some improvements in this area, including: 

  • Repaving and striping.
  • Providing bus turn outs.
  • Building a turn lane at Ellmaker Road.

Our next steps are to confirm the plan's recommended solutions, develop a concept for the design and complete the environmental documentation needed to continue the project if more funding is identified. 

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The Plan Recommendations

Learn more about the recommendations that we are studying. 

The Fern Ridge Corridor Plan's recommended solutions that we are studying are:

  • Widening OR 126 from two lanes to four lanes with a center turn lane.
  • Building a multiuse path next to the roadway with a buffer zone or barrier that separates pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicles.

We will have a larger buffer zone between the multiuse path and vehicles for most of the project area, except for where the path is directly next to the reservoir. Here, we will use a barrier that will be narrower to reduce impacts on the environment. 

Multiuse section with swale separation

Multiuse section with barrier separation

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Project Phases

How does a project go from concept to construction?

Looking at a wetland habitatThere are four key phases for this project:

Phase 1 (2011 - 2013): Completed

  • The Fern Ridge Corridor Plan identified needs, showed a range of alternatives and selected recommended solutions that were approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

Phase 2 (2020-2022): In Progress

  • With funding from the Oregon Legislature through Keep Oregon Moving (HB 2017), we will refine the recommended solutions and complete the environmental studies to meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.

Phase 3 (Future)

  • If additional funding is identified, we will finalize the design and prepare the construction plans.

Phase 4 (Future)

  • If additional funding is identified, we will build the recommended solutions.

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Environmental Study Elements

Here is what we are studying to fully understand the project's potential impacts on the community. 

We will identify the natural and manmade environmental resources to look at what impacts widening the highway will have based on NEPA requirements. 

Our goal is to understand, document and lessen any impacts to achieve as many community benefits as possible.

We will study the impacts on:

  • Air quality.
  • Archaeological.
  • Biological resources.
  • Title VI and environmental justice communities.
  • Historic resources.
  • Noise.
  • Parks and recreation.
  • Water quality/hydrology.
  • Wetlands.
Open gallery full-screen Use the mouse wheel to pan and zoom, or pinch and swipe on touch-enabled devices.
  • Fender's Blue Butterfly Habitat

    Fender’s Blue Butterfly Habitat

  • Willamette Valley Daisy

    Willamette Valley Daisy

  • Bradshaw's Lomatium

    Bradshaw’s Lomatium

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Next Steps

A lot needs to be done to complete Phase 2 of the project. Here's what you can expect between now and 2022. To stay connected, sign up to receive project alerts

Sign up to receive project alerts

Upcoming Activities

Now – Spring 2021

  • Project Steering Committee (local, regional, state agencies and jurisdictions)
    Our first meeting was this summer and we will meet three more times: fall 2020 and again in the spring and summer of 2021 to help guide this project phase. 
  • Stakeholder Conversations 
    We held a series of targeted discussions this summer to identify issues and opportunities. 
    We will meet again next spring to review what work has been done.
    Groups include:
    • Naturalist, environmentalist, hunters and fishers.
    • Bicycle, pedestrian and boater groups.
    • Highway users, emergency management services (fire, police and ambulance), businesses, commuters and tourism interests.
  • Open Houses
    We are planning to have another open house next spring to share our progress.
    Sign up to receive project alerts and stay connected with what is happening on the project. 

For more detail, view the project schedule graphic.

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We Want Your Feedback, Comments, Questions and Concerns

Thank you for taking the time to visit our online open house. We want to hear from you – please take a moment to answer the questions in our survey that will help us determine the impacts to your community.

Please complete our survey

For more information about the project, please visit the project webpage or contact:Please fill out our survey, ask questions and share your comments and concerns!Visit the project webpage

Molly Cary
ODOT Project Manager
(503) 986-6924

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