Setting up easels...

Printing nametags...

Making coffee...

Printing sign-in sheets...

Features on this site may be easier to use if you rotate your screen.

OR 18 and OR 22 Road Improvement Design and Planning Project

Welcome to our second online open house!
Whether you are a community member headed to work or school, a truck driver delivering goods, or a tourist headed to the coast or casino, safety and convenience are critical for your trip on OR 18 (Salmon River Highway) and OR 22 (Hebo Road). 

Our goal with this project is to create a design that improves safety and reduces congestion on OR 18 and OR 22, between Spirit Mountain Casino and Fort Hill Interchange. 

Map of the project area showing OR 18 and OR 22 near the Spirit Mountain Casino and Kissing Rock

Map of the project area (click on the image to enlarge). 

If you need this material in an alternative format or for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or Civil Rights Title VI accommodations, translation/interpretation services, or more information call 503-731-4128, TTY 800-735-2900 or Oregon Relay Service 7-1-1.


Learn about the history, our timeline and why this project is needed.
Learn about the development process that helped us find our single preferred concept.
View a map and watch a video that shows the preferred concept.
Learn how your input changed the project and how you can further help us by filling out a short survey!
Sign up to attend our virtual event and learn how you can stay connected.

Project history and purpose

Improving safety and congestion along OR 18 and OR 22 is something we've been discussing for several years. The last effort proposed an interchange at the OR 18 and OR 22 Valley Junction intersection. Our current project takes a fresh look at that proposal and how to make the highways safer and reduce congestion in the area.

Why is this project needed?

This project addresses issues we've heard from the community in recent years, including: 

  • OR 18 experiences heavy traffic in the project area.
  • Summer weekend traffic creates considerable delays, especially if there is an incident.
  • The amount of traffic on OR 18 makes it difficult for drivers to turn left from OR 22 onto OR 18.
  • Freight traffic has been using alternative routes instead of OR 18, which can pose safety issues on local roadways.
  • More crashes are happening with drivers crossing over the center line into oncoming traffic, or rear-ending the cars in front of them.

To confirm these issues and to see if there were any new ones we should consider, we asked the community to share their experiences in our first online open house. You can read more about the feedback we received in the summary document.  

Project timeline

The timeline below shows where we are today and the next steps of the project. Right now, we're wrapping up our outreach to finalize our Facility Plan and design. 

Click on the timeline graphic to enlarge.

The timeline for the project; this outreach is taking place in September through October, 2021 and is the last round of outreach.

Additional information
The documents linked below provide the background of past efforts that helped us get to the current project:

33% Complete

Concept development and Facility Plan

As we've been working on this project, we developed several concepts to address the project's purpose and goals. Using the feedback from the last online open house and virtual workshop in spring 2021, we narrowed down our three top concepts to a single preferred concept: Valley Junction Interchange. 

How we landed on the preferred concept

We learned through our outreach efforts, that the community and project Steering Committee preferred the Valley Junction Interchange concept because it:

  • Improves safety and reduces congestion along OR 18.
  • Centralizes OR 22/Hebo Road and Spirit Mountain Casino traffic.
  • Includes more local access roads north and south of OR 18.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Map depicting the existing road with a purple line overlaid for the new frontage road alignment and an orange line overlaid depicting the new highway alignment

Previous online open house

If you missed the first online open house or want to refresh your memory, you can view our archived online open house. The archived online open house includes concept elements and the top system connectivity concepts.

Top community concerns and how we're addressing them:

We heard you! At our last online open house, we received a few new concerns listed below. You can click on the text to learn more about what our team is doing to address these concerns. 

We are working with the freight community to ensure that our design meets the needs of both the businesses and the community.
The new design will replace the existing 4' shoulder with 10' shoulders on OR 18 and replace the existing 1-3’ shoulders with 8’ shoulders on OR 22. We are also adding new frontage and backage roads with bike lanes.
The preferred concept will help reduce traffic congestion around Spirit Mountain Casino by:
  • Widening OR 18 from two to four lanes.
  • Developing a new interchange just east of the casino, which will eliminate the challenging left turn from OR 22.
  • Including better local access north and south of OR 18 to provide alternate routes.

Facility Plan for the preferred concept

Our next step is to finalize the draft Facility Plan for the Valley Junction Interchange concept. It will then be formally adopted, allowing us to ask for the funding needed to build the project. This Facility Plan is the guiding document for all future work and was developed using feedback from the project Steering Committee, stakeholders and the community.

50% Complete

The Valley Junction Interchange concept

The preferred concept includes highway, interchange and local roadway changes to improve safety and reduce congestion in the area.

The video will take you on a tour of the preferred concept, which includes:

  • The widened, four lane OR 18 expressway with a proposed frontage road to the north.
  • The proposed OR 18 and OR 22 interchange at Valley Junction.
  • The proposed backage road to the south of OR 18.
Watch this video to see what the area will look like!

Preferred design concept elements

This map shows the locations that correspond with the numbered items below.
Click on the image to enlarge.

Image of a map showing the locations of the corresponding numbered elements below.

Highway elements:

  1. OR 18
    Convert OR 18 to a four lane expressway with a median barrier between people traveling east and west. This will limit access but make it safer for residents and those visiting businesses who are trying to access OR 18 (see item 10 for more details).
  2. OR 22
    Improve safety by widening the roadway and straightening out the curves. 

Interchange elements:

  1. OR 18 Spirit Mountain Casino Interchange
    Close the existing OR 18 Spirit Mountain Casino Interchange, along with the OR 18 Spirit Mountain Casino ramps and connector road.
  2. OR 18 Valley Junction Interchange
    Move the OR 18 and OR 22 intersection to the west and create a new Valley Junction Interchange with on and off ramps.

Intersection elements:

  1. OR 18 and Rowell Creek Road intersection
    Close the existing OR 18 and Rowell Creek Road intersection. Travelers would use a new Rowell Creek Road undercrossing to get to the frontage road (to the north of OR 18) and onto either the Valley Junction or Fort Hill Interchanges.
  2. OR 22 and the new frontage road
    Allow local traffic to use the new frontage road (along the north side of OR 18) to get to OR 22 without using the Valley Junction Interchange.
  3. OR 22 westbound ramp
    Connect travelers heading west on OR 18 to OR 22 at the new Valley Junction Interchange (shown on the north side of OR 18).
  4. OR 22 eastbound ramp
    Connect travelers heading east on OR 18 to OR 22 at the new Valley Junction Interchange (shown on the south side of OR 18).

Local roadway elements:

  1. New frontage road, east of Valley Junction
    Build a new frontage road from Valley Junction to Fort Hill Road so that people can get to businesses and homes on the north side of OR 18. This will use a portion of the existing OR 18 roadway.
  2. New frontage road, west of Valley Junction
    Build a new frontage road from OR 22 to the west end of the project area so that people can get to businesses and homes on the north side of OR 18. 
  3. New backage road
    Build a new backage road from Rowell Creek Road west to the Yamhill River so that people can get to businesses and homes on the south of OR 18.
  4. New north to south Rowell Creek Road
    Build a new local street between the frontage road, east of Valley Junction, with the new backage road using the undercrossing below OR 18.

67% Complete

Your feedback is important

Learn how the preferred concept will make it easier for local traffic and people walking, biking and riding transit. 

We also want to hear from youyour input is important to us! Please make sure to fill out the survey below.

You can click on the text below to learn how all local users will get around after the preferred concept is built.

The project Steering Committee and the community helped us develop ideas to make it easier to drive around the area without using OR 18. In addition, we considered environmental and right of way impacts as well as the cost of the potential improvements while working on our design concept. This resulted in the following local access features.

The concept:

  • Redirects traffic from Grand Ronde Road to OR 22.
  • Provides route options away from OR 18 since access off and onto OR 18 will be limited to the new interchange.
  • Enhances movement through the area for residents and for those visiting businesses, including the casino.

To the right are two maps that show how drivers can get around the area without going on OR 18 (shown in purple lines), as well as the areas where access onto the highways will be removed (shown in dark blue and orange lines).

Preferred OR 18 access concept
(click on the image to enlarge)

Map showing access management on OR 18

Existing elements

Currently, there are four separate public transit providers and four fixed routes – Yamhill County Transit (Line 22), Tillamook County Transportation District (Lines 60X and 70X), Caravan Airport Shuttle and Cherriots (Line 2X). These services all have stops at Spirit Mountain Casino and all, except for Cherriots, stop at the Grand Ronde Community Center.

Bicycle and pedestrian
Bicycle and pedestrian elements in the project area consist mostly of paved shoulders. There aren't consistent sidewalks. Currently, they are:

  • Along the east side of Grand Ronde Road between OR 18 and OR 22.
  • At specific segments on the west side of Grand Ronde Road.
  • On the north and south approaches of Grand Ronde Road at OR 18.

Cyclists who ride on OR 18 and OR 22 are typically more experienced and familiar with high stress recreational riding situations. More casual riders that require lower stress situations would need facilities with greater separation, like a multiuse path, to feel comfortable riding on OR 18 and OR 22.

Proposed changes

The new preferred concept includes:

  • Replacing existing 4’ shoulders with 10’ shoulders on OR 18.
  • Replacing 1-3’ shoulders with 8’ shoulders on OR 22.
  • Adding new frontage and backage roads with bike lanes.

Please note, there are no new sidewalks included as part of this project.

Preferred OR 22 access concept
(click on the image to enlarge)

Map showing access management on OR 22

Example OR 18 expressway cross section
(click on the image to enlarge)

Cross section for OR 18 with 9' side slope, 10' shoulder, and two 12' travel lane for vehicles in each direction divided by 18' median..

Example OR 22, frontage road and backage road cross section
(click on the image to enlarge)

Cross section for frontage roads with 6' side slope, 6' bike lane, 2' buffer and 12' travel lane for vehicles in each direction.

We want your feedback

Your feedback and questions are an important part of our process. They help us make sure that we create a concept that works for everyone! Please share your thoughts with us by filling out the survey below.

83% Complete

Next steps

Thank you for getting involved and sharing your feedback! Your input helped us developed our design concept and will be important as we finalize the Facility Plan. Once completed, the Facility Plan will need to be formally reviewed and adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission, Polk County and other local impacted governments, which we anticipate happening later this year.

Image of a laptop with the words "virtual event" underneathImage of a tab in an internet browser saying "project webpage"Image of open envelope with paper saying "Project alerts"

Mark your calendar!

Icon of a virtual eventSign up to attend our virtual event on September 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. At this event, you'll have the opportunity to hear from the project team, ask questions and learn more about the preferred design concept.

Stay connected

Icon of web pageYou can always learn more about the project, find answers to your questions and stay connected by visiting the project webpage.

Icon of emailIf you have not already, sign up to receive future updates about this project.

If you have additional questions, please contact:

Brennan Burbank

ODOT Project Manager

Please help us spread the word about this online open house and our upcoming virtual event!
Feel free to share this with your friends and neighbors so that we can get their feedback.
Thank you for participating!

100% Complete