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

Construction Phase

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

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

Construction Banner


Construction Impacts

Phase 1 construction will be completed in two stages, work being done in each stage is listed below.

For Phase 1A we will:

• Lengthen and widen northbound off-ramp.
• Build retaining wall and noise wall.
• Realign Bents Road to align with Bents Court at the existing Ehlen Road.
• Install signal at new Bents Road intersection with Ehlen Road.​

For Phase 1B we will:

• Construct a new I-5 bridge to carry both northbound and southbound traffic over Ehlen Road. ​
• Reconstruct the I-5 travel lanes to match the new I-5 bridge.
• Realign I-5 southbound lanes east, into the median, to align with the new bridge structure.
• Construct a four-lane cross section on Ehlen Road, between the northbound and southbound I-5 ramps, with two new left-turn lanes to access the I-5 on-ramps and one through lane in each direction.

Pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will have access through or around the work zone. 

Meetings and Events

Online Open HouseOpen House Now Live

See what is being built in 2022 across the region at our online open house​.

Open now through February 1.



​We have 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.

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.

Meeting Schedule

September 30, 2020: Marion County Board of Commissioners public hearing to adopt the IAMP. 

  • ​9:30 a.m. The Board of Commissioners session agenda will be posted about two weeks before the meeting on the Marion County website​. Please note, this meeting is being held by Marion County. 

November 12, 2019:

  • 7:00 p.m. Presentation at Aurora City Council at 21420 Main Street in Aurora.

  • 8:00 p.m. Presentation at Donald City Council at 10710 Main Street NE in Donald.

November 13, 2019:

North Marion High School Commons, 20167 Grim Road NE, Aurora, OR 97002

  • 4:00-5:30 p.m. Business and Stakeholder Engagement Group meeting.

  • 6:00-8:00 p.m. Public Open House. Viewed recommended future full interchange design with refined road connections, as well as the recommendations for Phase 1 improvements.​


Phase 1 Design 2020

Construction in 2022 (Bid Let 2021)


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

Cost and Funding

The project was originally funded at $3.4 million. The Keep Oregon Moving transportation funding package, HB 2017, allocated nearly $25 million more for a total of $28.3 million to complete planning for the full interchange and design, and for construction of Phase 1.

$18 million will be used to construct Phase 1 improvements. Funding is not available for construction of a full interchange.

Contacts & Media

Project Area Map

Project Contact

Assistant Resident Engineer
Astrid Potter

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Last Updated

1/7/2022 10:35 AM

Project Number


Project Documents

Related documents to this project
19062_I-5_Aurora-Donald_Interchange_November_2019_Presentation.pdfPresentation for November 12 city council meetings and November 13 open house.
K19062_I-5_Aurora_Donald_Aurora_Presentation_AURORA_3-12-19.pdfAurora City Council Presentation
pdfpresentation.pdfInformation on the preferred alternatives for the Aurora-Donald Interchange.
19062-AuroraDonald-snapshot.pdfA brief overview of the project with costs and benefits.
19062_A-D_IAMP_Final.pdfFinal IAMP
19062_All_Appendices.pdfIAMP Appendices

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