Highway 126 West

Objective: Secure approval of a safety solution (for example, enforcing safe speeds) for Highway 126 between Veneta and Eugene that is more effective, cheaper and can happen sooner.


The stretch of Highway 126 between Veneta and Eugene is dangerous. There are a growing number of crashes. BEST supports Vision Zero, the goal of zero traffic deaths or life-changing injuries. In particular, BEST supports effective actions to make Highway 126 safer for all travelers.

ODOT’s proposed solution is to widen the section of highway from the current 2 lanes to as much as 4 lanes, plus a center turn lane, 2 shoulders, a separated multi-use path for people walking or bicycling, and possibly roundabouts a some intersections.

Crossing Fern Ridge Reservoir — Veneta to Eugene: OR 126 Road Widening NEPA Study. Source: ODOT

ODOT estimates it will cost $250 million to 350 million to construct the seven-mile project. The cost is so large that it could be years or even decades before sufficient funding could be cobbled together to complete the project. During that time, we can expect to see more tragedies.


According to ODOT, the current National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study, Phase 2 of the project, will take about 18-24 months (March 2020- March 2022) to complete:

  • Field work began in April 2020 and is expected to be complete in September 2020.​
  • Public engagement began spring 2020 and will run through the spring 2021. 

This is a planning study, with no funding for design and construction. If funding can be found later, the design process will take about 18 months, and construction will take approximately two years. 

See also

Further reading

External links

Google Group

If you would like to get more engaged in efforts around Highway 126 West, ask to join BEST’s ad hoc Google Group.