To the Editor:
The Keizer City Council recently approved a new version of a bridge over the Willamette River, without a public meeting and without revealing to Keizer residents how the new alternative would affect them.
The city council approved “by consensus” an alternative originally proposed by the Salem City Council last summer. The so-called Salem Alternative is not an expressway to West Salem—it has at least eight intersections. In addition, the traffic study shows it will cause intersections on Liberty and Commercial Streets between Keizer and downtown Salem to be over-capacity at certain times of morning and evening. This means traffic well wind through the neighborhoods, or you will sit at a light through several changes.
The estimated cost of the “Salem Alternative” is $400 million. There is no state or federal money available, nor is it likely there will be, for such a local project. The most likely funding mechanism will be bonds, to be paid for by the entire Salem/Keizer area. There is another alternative in the study that would cost a third of the Salem Alternative, would result in better traffic flow between Keizer and Salem and into West Salem, and would displace many fewer residents and businesses. The Alternative 2A would widen the existing bridges and build infrastructure improvements at the existing bridge heads. The Keizer City Council should re-think its decision, compare the Salem Alternative with all of the other alternatives, and do it with full public review and comment.