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I-5: Aurora-Donald Interchange Project, Phase 1A

Project Completed

Region 2: Willamette Valley and Northwest Oregon (Aurora, Donald, Marion)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Addressing interchange problems and determining immediate and long-term improvements.​​​​​​

Banner image: Building a modern transportation system to help Oregon’s communities and economy thrive. During construction, Give yourself more time -try a new way or mode to get there or take a different route!



This phase:

  • Lengthened and widened the northbound off-ramp.

  • Built a sound wall along the northbound off-ramp. 

  • Realigned Bents Road to align with Bents Court at Ehlen Road.

  • Installed a new traffic signal at the new Bents Road and Ehlen Road intersection.​

The next phase will:

  • Replace the I-5 bridges over Ehlen Road with one new bridge. ​

  • Reconstruct the I-5 travel lanes to match the new I-5 bridge.

  • Changing the section of Ehlen Road under the I-5 bridge to have two lanes of traffic in both directions and new accesses to the I-5 on and off-ramps.​

  • Lengthen and widen the southbound off-ramp, the southbound on-ramp and the northbound on-ramp –  completely upgrading all freeway ramps.

  • Relocate the Dolores Way and Ehlen Road intersection to the east. ​

Visit the Phase 2 project webpage ​to learn more. 


We completed the Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP) that documents the traffic volumes and interchange performance in order to define a level of service and to ensure that level will extend into the future.  The IAMP establishes an agreement with local government and stakeholders on the transportation solutions, policies, and actions needed to improve the interchange.

The IAMP and the appendix files are available in the document library at the bottom of this page.

Design of the Interchange

We considered many factors such as safety, traffic flow, short and long-term transportation needs as we designed the new interchange. During the development process, the design was narrowed to a concept that minimizes the footprint of a full interchange. However, some private property will need to be acquired to construct the project. 
Diverging Diamond Interchange Diagram

The preferred design is called a Diverging Diamond. The concept image represents how ramps and roads connect to I-5. The design realigns some of county roads and private-property accesses. Considerations included survey, environmental and traffic data, and conversations with property and business owners. These are all documented in the IAMP.

Reconstructing this interchange is a high priority of the Mid-Willamette Valley Area Transportation Commission, Marion County and ODOT.

Daily, approximately 32,000 vehicles use Exit 278 Aurora-Donald or travel past the ramps entering and exiting I-5. The volume of traffic, proximity of roads and access points, and visibility issues cause congestion and safety concerns around the interchange. Built about 60 years ago for a much lower traffic volume, the interchange has been over capacity at peak times for many years.

It has significant safety issues and does not operate like a busy interchange should. Phase 1 construction will make improvements to the interchange and address some of the current issues.


Phase 1A Design through 2021
Construction in 2022 - 2023


I-5 | ​Aurora-Donald Interchange (Exit 278)

Cost and Funding

The project was originally funded at $3.4 million. House Bill 2017 allocated nearly $25 million more for a total of $28.3 million to complete planning and design for the full interchange and for construction of Phase 1.

$11.5 million will be used to construct Phase 1A improvements. Funding is not available for construction of a full interchange.

Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around work zones.​

Contacts & Media

Phase 1A Project Area Map

Project Contacts

Resident Engineer
Scott Nelson

Public Information Officer
David House

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Last Updated

5/16/2024 11:32 AM

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