Canby Ferry Alternatives Feasibility Study

A one-year study to identify the financial and traffic impacts of constructing a bridge across the Willamette River at the location of the Canby Ferry, scheduled to be completed in early 2019.


Current Status

The Canby Ferry, operated by the Clackamas County Transportation Maintenance Division, crosses the Willamette River during daylight hours from north of Canby to east of Wilsonville. However, it is not able to run when the river level gets above 70 feet and during other inclement weather, can only carry six cars at a time, costs motorists $5 per vehicle for a one-way trip and costs the county considerably more money to operate than it receives in revenue.

Feasibility study flyer English | Español

The Study

Since the Ferry both limits the number of people who can cross the Willamette River and uses money that could otherwise be spent on road maintenance, the County is evaluating the long-term financial and traffic impacts of six possible future alternatives for crossing the river at the same location.

  • Canby Ferry – continue service
  • Canby Ferry – discontinue service
  • Bridge (no toll) – continue ferry service
  • Bridge (no toll) – discontinue ferry service
  • Toll Bridge – continue ferry service
  • Toll Bridge – discontinue ferry service

The Process

Financial, engineering, planning and traffic experts will study various factors related to each of the six alternatives (feasibility analysis details). A public meeting was held in June to inform people about the project and gather input. A second public meeting was held on January 15 to share the results of the analysis before a final report is presented to the Board of County Commissioners in early 2019.

The study will provide projections and data on the estimated financial costs, traffic impacts and related issues of six different options related to building, or not building, a bridge and keeping, or not keeping, the Canby Ferry. At this information-gathering stage, no decisions have been made and no recommendations are planned regarding either a bridge or the ferry. The Board will review the results of the study in early 2019, discuss the issue further and will not move forward without public input. If eventually a decision was made to proceed with a new bridge, actual construction wouldn’t take place until after several years of outreach, planning and design.


March 12, 2019 Board of County Commissioners Policy Session
Tues, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Board Hearing Room, 2051 Kaen Rd, 4th Floor, Oregon City map
The public is welcome to observe.
Feb. 19, 2019 Board of Commissioners Public Listening Session
Tuesday, 6-8 p.m.
Canby Foursquare Church: 2350 SE Territorial Road map
The Board will listen to public comments and questions about the various options presented in the draft study report.
Watch the Facebook Live video
Jan. 30, 2019 Board of Commissioners Planning Session
Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.
Board Hearing Room: 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City map
The Board will discuss the draft study report. No public comment will be taken at this meeting.
Jan. 15, 2019

Public Meeting/Open House

Oct. 2, 2018 Board of Commissioners Policy Session
June 13, 2018 Open House

The Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development endeavors to make all public meetings accessible to everyone without regard to race, ethnicity, disability status or English proficiency. To request an appropriate or reasonable accommodation, please submit a request by phone or email at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Feasibility Analysis Details

Cost Estimates for Alternatives

  1. Costs for future operations, maintenance and capital for Canby Ferry
  2. Costs to discontinue ferry operations
  3. Cost for development, construction, and maintenance for bridge: Conceptual plan and elevations for two bridge concepts, both to be located at the current location of the Canby Ferry and extend from top of bluff on the north side to top of bluff on the south side. The bridge concepts will be selected to provide low and high figures for costs and environmental impacts.
  4. Operating costs for three toll methods: manual, transponder and optical character recognition. Identify facility requirements and associated costs, information system requirements, staff/vendors, annual operating costs and administrative costs
  5. Identify roadway improvements that will be necessary to accommodate increased traffic and estimate cost for the improvements

Revenue and Traffic for each Alternative

  1. Future revenue and traffic assuming only continued operation of Canby Ferry
  2. Future traffic with the addition of a non-tolled bridge
  3. Future traffic with a tolled bridge, with tolls of various amounts to identify the relationship between cost and traffic. A financial forecast of expected toll revenues on a yearly basis will be developed for each toll scenario. Future traffic with highly congested conditions on I-5/I-205 will also be analyzed to identify maximum diversion.

Total Annual Costs

  1. Estimate future costs for the operation/maintenance of the Canby Ferry including capital rehabilitation and replacement.
  2. 30 Year Bonding Cost analysis incorporating all capital improvement costs for the bridge and associated facilities including annual debt service and financing costs, annual contribution to capital reserves, and increased cost for roadway operations and maintenance.
  3. 30 Year Annual Cost analysis for the toll collection system including annual cost for toll system operations, staffing, operations and maintenance. The analysis will be conducted for three alternative tolling methods in use today (manual, electronic and photo) to develop a cost analysis for the application of each of the tolling methods to the Canby Bridge, including the option for contracting for logistical/administrative support with other agencies in the Northwest.
  4. Analysis to identify roads and intersections in the surrounding area that will experience increased traffic due to the addition of the bridge and estimated increases in annual maintenance costs.

Financial Feasibility

  1. Annual revenue minus annual costs for each of the six alternatives identified above.

Other Issues

  1. Prepare an outline of all steps to develop a bridge and implement tolling, including requirements for tolling by local governments under Oregon Revised Statutes, environmental review and permitting by state/federal authorities.
Department Staff
Stephen Williams
Project Manager
Ellen Rogalin
Public & Government Affairs