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Welcome to the Van Buren Bridge Project

The Van Buren Bridge Project aims to ensure a safe and earthquake-resilient bridge over the Willamette River on eastbound OR 34. Design is underway and will be complete by September 2021 with construction expected to start in Spring 2022.

You can use this online open house to learn about the current status of the project, possible design features and offer feedback to the project team. Your ideas will help ODOT decide on the future look of the new Van Buren Bridge.

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. Si desea obtener información sobre este proyecto traducida al español, sírvase llamar al 503-731-4128.

Additional Information


Learn about the project and why it is needed.
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2022 and be complete by Fall 2024.
Learn about possible design elements for the bridge.
An environmental analysis is considering how to minimize impacts.
This project must comply with federal rules about impacts to historic properties.
Find out what happens next, how to stay involved, and give us feedback on what you learned.


The existing Van Buren Bridge is a bottleneck to travelers and freight, and is also considered seismically vulnerable. Replacement of the existing bridge was first proposed more than 20 years ago, but no funding was available at that time.

The existing bridge

Existing bridge drawing.

  • Year completed: 1915.
  • Design features: one lane of motor traffic and a pedestrian path.
  • Annual average daily traffic: 10,800 vehicles per day.
  • National Bridge Inventory sufficiency rating: 48.9 out of 100. (A score of 50 or less recommends replacement over repair.)

It is being replaced because:

  • It’s too narrow to add lanes.
  • It’s vulnerable to earthquakes.
  • Its rails and transitions are substandard and raise safety concerns.
  • A 1995 evaluation recommended it be replaced by 2005 because of steel fatigue (it is inspected bi-annually as a safety precaution.)
  • Recent inspections have noted underwater erosion of its concrete piers and footings.
  • Its construction and condition require vehicle height and weight restrictions.

What will happen to the existing bridge?

We will make the bridge available for sale to another agency or private party if they wish to remove the bridge to a different location. If a buyer can't be found, the bridge will be demolished.

Project history

  • 1979-1983: Final Environmental Impact Statement. This study was conducted to consider an alternate route for traffic to bypass the central business area of Corvallis.
  • 2004: Plans are revived.
  • 2005: Environmental Baseline Report: This environmental study assisted with determining requirements for the new Van Buren Bridge. Bridge and Roadway Alternatives Report: This design study was to assist in locating a new Van Buren Bridge.
  • 2006-2007: Options include a new bridge parallel to the existing bridge; and a curved bridge between the old bridge and the Harrison Street Bridge. An additional option includes a bypass north to connect with OR 99W. There is still no funding available.
  • 2008-2009: Existing Traffic Conditions Report: This document focused on conducting additional traffic studies.
  • 2017: The State Legislature’s passage of House Bill 2017 provides more bridge funding and project planning begins again.

This project builds on this previous work.

29% Complete

New Bridge Concept and Construction

Design plans for the new bridge are just beginning. However, we do know that the new bridge will be have a concrete deck, girder style bridge with two traffic lanes for vehicles traveling out of town. The new bridge will also include a 14-foot separated multi-use path for bikes and pedestrians. The multi-use path will connect to existing trail systems in the project area.

ODOT would like to get your feedback on possible design elements for the bridge, such as lighting, railing, columns and the bridge profile and piers.  Learn more on the next page.

Estimated cost:

  • $9 million for design
  • $60 million for construction


  • $69 million from Oregon’s Fix-It and HB 2017 bridge seismic funding

Construction Stages

(Shown in image below.)

  1. Construct temporary diversion (Spring 2022 - Fall 2022)
  2. Remove existing bridge (Fall 2022 - Summer 2023)
  3. Construct new bridge (Summer 2023 - Summer 2024)
  4. Remove work bridge and temporary diversion (Summer 2024)
  5. Contruction complete (Fall 2024)

Photo: simluated birdseye view of the new Van Buren Street Bridge.
Simulated birdseye view of the new Van Buren Street Bridge.

Use the mouse wheel to pan and zoom, or pinch and swipe on touch-enabled devices.

Construction Phasing

  • Construction Phasing

    Construction Phasing

43% Complete

Potential Design Enhancements

We would like to get your feedback on possible design elements for the bridge, such as lighting, railings, decorative columns, decorative siding (fascia) and piers.

Consider the options below and provide input using the comment form on the "Next Steps" page of this site.

Potential Design Enhancements include:

  1. Bridge railings
  2. Bridge and path lighting
  3. Entry columns
  4. Approach span fascia
  5. River piers

Graphic: design features overview map

Bridge and Path Lighting

Overhead style lighting, or pathway lighting could be installed along the multi-use path handrail.

Bridge Railings

Decorative railing could be used along the multiuse path on the north side of the bridge. The railing could be designed to look similar to other local bridges and historic elements from the Downtown Historic District.

Graphic: examples of railings and path lighting


Columns that look like the ones at Mary’s Bridge could be installed at either end of the new bridge. The columns could be inscribed with an image of Martin Van Buren on one side and the beaver from the state flag on the other.

Graphic: examples of decorative columns


Decorative patterned or textured concrete siding (fascia) could be installed under the bridge to look like historic stone.

Graphic: examples of siding treatments (fascia)


The in-water bridge supports (piers) could be designed with arches that appear similar to local historic structures.

Graphic: examples of pier treatments

57% Complete

Environmental Impacts

An environmental analysis is currently underway. This work will ensure that accurate information is being used to guide project development and to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to natural areas, wildlife and habitat.

Additionally, several local, state and federal permits will have to be approved before a new bridge can be built.

Natural Resources

1. Willamette River. No wetlands present.

Permits needed from Department of State Lands and United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Aquatic Species

2. Multiple endangered species and their habitat.

Other Environmental and Permitting Issues

3. Riverfront Commemorative Park. Temporary disturbances are anticipated.

4. Orleans Natural Area. Temporary disturbances 4 may occur.

United States Coast Guard Bridge Permit required.
City/County permits for floodplain impacts and work within the Willamette River Greenway.

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Environmental Impacts

  • Environmental Impacts

    Environmental Impacts

71% Complete

Historic Resources

Because this project has federal funding, it must comply with the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires consideration of the effects on historic properties within the project.

Cultural Resources

Historic properties within the project will be identified through:

  • Field survey and background research.
  • Assessment of potential effects to identified historic properties.

Any identified adverse effects to historic properties will be avoided or minimized and mitigated where necessary.

We will consult with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, federally-recognized tribes, project consulting parties and the general public in
these efforts.

Investigations will also occur for the Corvallis Downtown Historic District. A Historic Resource Baseline Report was completed in June 2019 (see
map). The report will inform further identification of historic properties, to be completed in spring 2020.

More information

Archaeological Considerations

Four archaeological sites and the Orleans Townsite are within the project study area.

Additional fieldwork will focus on evaluating these sites and identifying new sites.

We encourage you to submit historical information to:

Historic Resources Map

Click and drag to explore the map. Click lines, shapes and icons for more information. Turn layers on and off and browse the list of projects by clicking the Google Maps Layers button in the upper left of the map window. (You may need to turn off layers to select other objects underneath.) Map shapes and icons are provided for reference only, precise locations may vary.

Learn more about the Historic Resources Baseline Report Survey Report Results.

86% Complete

Next Steps

Thanks for your interest in the project. Below you can find out what happens next, how to stay involved, and give us feedback on what you learned. Public comments will be included in the project records.

Stay Involved

Complete the comment form below.

Visit the project website for more information.

Sign up for email updates.

Contact ODOT: Anna Henson


Project timeline


100% Complete