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Welcome to our second open house for the Veneta to Eugene: OR 126 Road Widening NEPA Study! 

Whether you are new to the project or have been following our progress – we welcome you to learn more about:

  • The project location and background. 
  • The environmental studies we've been working on.
  • What the road will look like throughout the project area. 
  • What the intersections will look like. 
  • Our next steps and how you can stay connected. 


Learn more about the study area and background information!
Learn more about the environmental studies we are working on.
Learn what the roadway would look like along the corridor.
Learn about the possible improvements at five interesctions.
Find out what happens next, learn how to stay involved, and give us your feedback.

About the Project

Click on each item below to learn more about the project. 

Project area mapOR 126 between the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast is an important route to the valley and I-5 for daily commuters, emergency services, and freight delivering goods and services. This area is also a local resource for outdoor recreation and environmental education.

The seven-mile section we are studying is currently a two-lane road with narrow shoulders and no bicycle lanes or sidewalks for pedestrians. Some solutions have been recommended to improve the safety and mobility of the highway for everyone.

Several people have suggested that the project limits should extend further west on OR 126 to Territorial Highway, rather than stopping at Huston Road. We do not currently have funding to complete a corridor study of OR 126 within the Veneta city limits between Huston and Territorial, but this has been identified in the city's Transportation System Plan. When funding is available, we'll ensure that all recommendations work together to develop a safer road.
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. We also 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 PlanSince 2013, we have made some improvements in this area, including:
  • Repaving and striping. 
  • Providing bus turn outs.
  • Building a turn lane at Ellmaker Road.
The Fern Ridge Corridor Plan's recommended solutions that we are studying and refining 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 physical separation between pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.
There will be a 10 foot buffer zone between the multiuse path and vehicles for most of the project area. Directly next to the reservoir the barrier will be narrower,  reducing impacts on the environment. 
Multiuse section with swale separation

Multiuse section with barrier separation

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 presented 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 are refining the recommended solutions and completing the environmental studies to meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements which will help the project compete for future federal funds.

Phases 3 and 4 (Future)
When additional funding is identified, we will finalize the design, prepare the construction plans and construct the project.

33% Complete

Environmental Studies

We have several environmental studies underway!

Here are a few highlights:

  • Wetlands
    Our designers are working to minimize impacts to the wetlands that are on both sides of the highway. Before this project is constructed, our team will get all of the required permits and put mitigation in place. 
  • Endangered Species
    We have located three endangered plants within the project corridor. They are the Willamette Daisy, Kincaid’s Lupine and Bradshaw’s Lomatium. There is also an important habitat for the Fender’s Blue Butterfly, an endangered species. We are working on ways to minimize the impact on these species and identify mitigation options.
  • Cultural Resources
    There are archaeological and historic resources present along the corridor. We are doing fieldwork to identify the extent and condition of archaeological resources. We have completed a review of the corridor for historic resources and five properties have been or will be evaluated to determine if they are eligible for historic designation.
  • Air Quality
    We have completed an air quality evaluation that followed the process outlined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). We found that the project impacts fall below thresholds FHWA has established which would trigger any action or mitigation.
  • Noise
    We have conducted a noise study consistent with FHWA requirements. Noise walls or other noise mitigation measures will not be a component of this project.
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

  • Bradshaw’s Lomatium

    Bradshaw’s Lomatium

  • Kincaid's Lupine

    Kincaid’s Lupine

  • Willamette Valley Daisy

    Willamette Valley Daisy

50% Complete

Roadway Cross Sections

We heard from many of you that this roadway needs additional travel lanes, wider shoulders, turn lanes and a multiuse path to help reduce congestion and improve safety.

Click on each item below to see how we have incorporated these elements throughout the study area.

study area map with numbered intersections

In this section, we shifted most of the roadway widening toward the railroad, reducing the impacts to the properties on the north side of the road.
This section includes a median separating the opposing travel lanes, which may be raised or designed to include a left-turn lane. There will also be bus stops.
We will design driveway locations and accesses when funding for construction has been secured.

cross section graphic - Ellmaker to Huston
There are several homes located along this segment of the project area. We've created a design to avoid those homes by shifting most of the road widening toward the railroad. The multiuse path is shifted closer to the roadway and a retaining wall has been added to further reduce impacts.

cross section graphic - Shady Rest
In an effort to reduce the impact to the reservoir, this section of the project shifts the roadway toward the railroad and uses steeper slopes for the embankment. The multiuse path is also shifted closer to the roadway and in some locations, a retaining wall is being considered to further reduce the impact on the reservoir.

cross section graphic - Fern Ridge Reservoir
This section of the project is within the Eugene city limits and includes curbs and landscaping along the edge of the road. The multiuse path is on the north side and a sidewalk is planned along the south side. This section includes a median separating the opposing travel lanes, which may be raised or designed to include a left-turn lane.  

cross section graphic - Green Hill to Terry Street

67% Complete

Intersection Recommendations

We evaluated how well the intersections work now and how they are projected to work in 20 years.

After developing the traffic forecast and evaluating nine study intersections within the corridor, five were shown to need additional modifications to meet our mobility goals. We have identified two potential solutions for each of the five intersections.

map graphic of study area showing intersections

number 1 icon Huston Road and OR 126 intersection | Two lane roundabout or traffic signals.

number 2 icon Ellmaker Road and OR 126 intersection | Two lane roundabout or turn lane improvements.

number 3 icon Central Road and OR 126 intersection | Two lane roundabout or traffic signals.

number 4 icon Fisher Road and OR 126 intersection | Two lane roundabout or turn lane improvements.

number 5 icon Green Hill Road and OR 126 intersection | Two lane roundabout or traffic signals.

Click on the possible intersection options below to learn more:

roundabout signRoundabout intersections provide excellent safety benefits and improved air quality compared to other intersection types. They can cost more and require more space to construct but are less expensive to maintain.
traffic lightTraffic signals are more common and are usually familiar to drivers. They improve safety over stop signs but tend to result in increased rear-end crashes. They are usually less expensive and require less space to construct but have higher long-term maintenance costs.
turn signTurn lane improvements would include adding turn lanes on the side roads and may include adding a lane in the median to allow vehicles turning left onto the highway to enter and accelerate before merging into the travel lane. The additional lane in the median allows drivers to make the left-turn in two stages, with the need to look for a gap in traffic in one direction at a time, resulting in improved safety and reduced congestion on the side roads.

83% Complete

Next Steps

Thank you for taking the time to visit our second online open house. You've helped make this project better and we appreciate it!

Please let us know if you have questions, comments or concerns. 

Submit Comments

We'll use the comments you've shared to finalize the conceptual design work this summer. Environmental work will be completed in the next year. Beginning this summer, we're also working to secure funding for the design and construction of the project.  

Stay connected by signing up to receive project alerts

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For more information about the project, please visit the project webpage or contact:

Molly Cary
ODOT Project Manager

100% Complete