A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Millersburg reload hub: Next steps

Written July 14th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

The old truck scales on the International Paper property in Millersburg. (The photo is from February.)

Things have been strangely silent since I reported on July 6 on the $25 million allocation for a possible Millersburg intermodal shipping hub that Rep. Andy Olson got approved as part of the legislature’s transportation law. But it won’t be quiet long.

Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist was involved in he early discussions about this project, which would make use of the vacant site of International Paper’s former Albany Paper Mill. A few days ago I asked him what was happening and what the next steps would be.

On Friday he got back to me: “There are a couple ‘next steps’ being worked as a result of the legislative appropriation,” he wrote in an email. “One is the initiation of a conversation for the potential acquisition of the property. Another is a discussion of potential community partners as to who should create the business plan presented to the (Oregon Transportation Commission) to receive the funds appropriated by the legislature and to lead the project.”

In is opinion, Nyquist continued, the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp. may be in the best position to carry this project forward. “Their composition is both public and private sector members, and their goal is to strengthen the local economy, which is the main motivation to create the reload facility in our area. We may see substantial progress on these first two steps in the next week.”

In Millersburg, meanwhile, City Manager Steven Hasson said the city council may take up the “development of a Mid-Willamette Valley Transmodal Facility,” which is what the legislature called it, at its next meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 8. If real estate acquisition is the topic, chances are the council will go into an executive session where the public is barred.

On Friday the Linn County commissioners issued a press statement thanking Rep. Olson, R-Albany, for the allocation of state funds. “If done properly,” the board said, “a transportation reload facility will help to solve a serious problem for local agriculture and manufacturing companies created by the change in operations at the Port of Portland. It also should improve traffic safety and congestion on I-5 for motorists. If built, the proposed facility would create jobs and be an economic driver in our county for the next 50 years.”

News of the proposal, however, did not generate unanimous acclaim. At least one reader of my July 6 story worried that his Millersburg neighborhood would lose the peace and quiet that caused his family to move there. (hh)

6 responses to “Millersburg reload hub: Next steps”

  1. Tony White says:

    There’s always somebody that brings up the NIMBY objection. If you want your neighborhood never to change, relocate to the Idaho badlands or Wyoming wastelands or something. Otherwise, prepare for change. It’s inevitable.

  2. Letha Brunell says:

    If this proposal goes through, those of us using Old Salem Rd. will have traffic coming north from the site and coming south from the truck stop that will create problems due to congestion. Added to this, between 54th St. and Clearwater the hump in the road makes it hard to see the traffic coming and the 50 MPH speed limit doesn’t seem to be working.

  3. Gothic Albany says:

    Just curious what Union Pacific Railroad’s take on this site is? Will the facility be adequate to assemble a unit train of double stack containers?

  4. Frank Grosso says:

    Only if a new I-5 interchange is built at Conser Rd NE. Otherwise, Old Salem Rd and its two current interchanges becomes the new Brooks with the addition of this and the new Loves Travel Center. It is time for the City of Millersburg to start thinking about the residential impact while it is aggressively “Linking Agriculture with Industry”.

    • Craig Z says:

      Well, our Mayor is for it, all the other politicians listed in various articles are for it…..so it will probably happen. No one seems to ever care or even ask the home owner’s what we think about any project. The homeowners are forgotten in this town. Albany use to be known as the arm pit of Oregon (they took the blame for Millersburg). We will be known in the future for diesel fumes and terrible traffic congestion.

  5. Jason Yutzie says:

    I hope the community involves itself and helps find a tenable option. The attitude that the worst is going to happen, most definitely will, if the citizens stand on the side or approach the decision makers with hostility.
    Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue crossing Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering