Providing more reliable, predictable, and cost-effective shipping for the Mid-Valley


Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility Proposal Delivered to ODOT

On September 27, 2018 the Oregon Port of Willamette delivered its comprehensive proposal for an intermodal and transload facility in Brooks to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The Oregon Port of Willamette proposal for Brooks is one of two finalists in a competition for a $23.75 million lottery-funded grant.

Three entities will review the competing proposals during 120 days after the September 27 submission. These are ODOT, Business Oregon (Oregon’s Economic Development agency), and a third-party reviewer. The two competing proposals will then be submitted, along with the reviewers’ comments, to the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). The five-member OTC will then choose the grant winner.


For more than a decade, shippers in the Willamette Valley have recognized the need for an intermodal facility in the Mid-Willamette Valley, south of Portland congestion, to move containers between truck and rail. Even when container shipping through Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland was a viable option, shippers recognized the need for a Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal facility. In 2015, as container shipping slowed at the Port of Portland and shipping lines stopped calling at the port, the Oregon Shipping Group was formed to advocate for solutions on behalf of Oregon shippers. A primary alternative to the Port of Portland brought up time and time again by shippers has been the need for a Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal facility.

In 2015, in response to the decline in shipping options available to Oregon exporters and importers, Governor Kate Brown launched the International Trade and Logistics Initiative. As part of that initiative, studies were carried out by Business Oregon to evaluate options for shippers, including a study as to the feasibility of an intermodal facility in the Mid-Willamette Valley. The Oregon Shipping Group utilized that feasibility analysis and additional research to advocate on behalf of private sector importers and exporters during the 2017 legislative session for grant funding toward a Mid-Willamette Valley intermodal facility. As part of a historic transportation package for Oregon, the 2017 legislative assembly appropriated $25 million for the development of a “Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal Facility.”

The Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility Project Plan demonstrates that the best location for this Mid-Willamette Valley intermodal facility is Brooks, Oregon.

Our project will help the ocean carriers get more shippers and increase income.

Our project will also help Oregon shippers get more customers and increase income.

  1. An ocean carrier which designates Willamette Valley as a container yard will have more customers because shippers will want to use a yard which is closer to them and reduce the need to rely on trucks.
  2. Ocean carriers will benefit because moving containers by rail between the Willamette Valley and Seattle/Tacoma eliminates uncertainties caused by traffic congestion, and opens up capacity at the ports.
  3. Ocean carriers will benefit from the visibility we give them through our outreach to the community. Our Willamette Valley facility will recruit shipper customers for the ocean carriers using our facility. We will be your partners. 
  4. Both the ocean carriers and the shippers will benefit from better predictability of rail schedules. Many Oregon shippers still move their product by truck between the Willamette Valley and Seattle/Tacoma and this causes congestion in the port areas.
  5. Ocean carriers who use the Willamette Valley facility will not only save money through efficiency and less congestion but will also make more money because more shippers will use this system compared to trucks on the highway.
  6. Importers and exporters will prefer our facility because we will be open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day and we will allow the efficient exchange of containers without having to go to another facility.
  7. Congestion in Portland and Seattle and Tacoma will get worse, not better. Truck driver availability will be lower, not higher. Our Willamette Valley facility provides an answer for now but an even stronger answer for the future.


  • The facility consists of about 200 acres of land north of Antique Powerland and south of Waconda Road, and on the east side of the Portland and Western Railroad main line.
  • The property will be connected to Brooklake Road by a private road running along the western edge of Antique Powerland.
  • The Oregon Port of Willamette is a limited liability company (LLC) with Frank Salerno as the Managing Member and Kevin Mannix as Executive Director. All of the LLC members are Oregonians and most of them are farmers in the central and northern Willamette Valley.
  • The intermodal and transload facility will initially emphasize Oregon imports and exports which go through Seattle and Tacoma ports. Over time additional connections will be developed which may include connections to the Port of Coos Bay and Port of St. Helens.
  • The intermodal and transload facility will be served by the Portland and Western Railroad, which can connect with the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.
  • The intermodal and transload facility will reduce the need to send trucks through Portland which in turn will reduce congestion and carbon emissions.
  • The Oregon Port of Willamette is planning for the operation of the facility to be environmentally sound, with limited use of fossil fuels and the use of electric power or CNG to fuel equipment in the yard. We are also exploring the potential to do short haul trucking to and from the facility with hybrid or electric trucks whenever possible.
  • Oregon Port of Willamette will be supporting highway improvements in the Brooks area, such as:
  • creating Right and Left lanes on the I-5 exit ramps onto Brooklake Road, with traffic signals at the top of the ramps.
  • widening Brooklake Road between I-5 and River Road, with a center turn lane.
  • installing a traffic signal and turn lanes at the intersection of River Road and Brooklake Road.



Features comparison of the Oregon Port of Willamette intermodal project for Brooks and the Linn Economic Development Group project for Millersburg.



Project Sponsor
  • Oregon Port of Willamette, LLC
  • Linn Economic Development Group
Site Locations
  • Brooks, Oregon
  • Adjacent to Portland & Western Railroad
  • Millersburg, Oregon
  • Adjacent to Union Pacific Railroad
Site Ownership
  • Nine Options to Purchase 210-acres in full force & effect
  • Contract with International Paper with default expiration date of Dec. 30, 2018
  • Current contract: unknown
Railroad Connection
  • Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR) a shortline railroad located completely within Oregon
  • Track connections with UP, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Coos Bay Rail Line
  • Plans to connect with Union Pacific Railroad (UP) mainline
Railroad Design
  • Design completed with Knife River railroad unit, David Evans & Associates, and PNWR
  • Ready to move forward with full design and construction, without infringing on passenger rail developments
  • Design yet to begin UP’s 12-18 month-long track construction review process
Railroad Letter of Concurrence
  • Concurrence with Project Plan from PNWR, per rule requirements
  • UP letter of interest that acknowledges they have seen one schematic
International Port of Coos Bay Development
  • Supports development of the Port of Coos Bay as a gateway container port
  • Planning with PNWR includes connecting with Coos Bay Rail Line and the Port
  • No vision as to development of the Port of Coos Bay as gateway container port
Intermodal Operation
  • Contract with Cordele Intermodal Services, which operates two existing intermodal facilities
  • Existing relationships with relevant ocean carriers and Genesee & Wyoming Railroad (PNWR parent company)
  • Working with Northwest Container Services, which operates with UP in Portland
Market Share
  • Captures container volumes from southern Oregon to as far north as Yamhill and Clackamas counties
  • ECONorthwest analysis provides that the northern limit of Millersburg’s market share is Salem
  • Concedes Brooks will capture at least 11% higher volume of containers
Reducing Congestion and Carbon Emissions
  • Facility will reduce trucks going into and through Portland by 33,000 trucks per year, within 3 years
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve all customers – encourages use during off-peak travel times
  • Per ECONorthwest economic analysis, including domestic containers, this facility will reduce traffic by 17,500 containers per year
  • Open one shift per day, Monday – Friday
  • BNSF-bound trucks get a parking lot to await their trip into Portland
Community Engagement
  • Community engagement spurred facility entry design and OPW’s understanding of Brooks’ transportation needs
  • Brooks Community Group was formed to advocate for the community
  • Stakeholder interviews as part of economic analysis
Federal Grant Applications
  • Applications are under development for Brooklake Road and I-5 ramp improvements – based on input from the Brooks Community Group
  • Unknown
Diversity in Contracting
  • Knife River has an agreement with Raimore Construction – a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractor – to participate in construction of the Brooks facility
  • Proposal does not include a diversity component in their project plans
Public Benefits Analysis
  • For every $1 spent, there will be $10 in public benefits realized
  • Valued at over $6.6 million annually
  • Ratio unknown
  • Valued at $2.9 - $4.7 million annually in public benefits
Acreage Dedicated to Intermodal Facility
  • All 210 acres are dedicated to the intermodal facility and agricultural shipping enterprises
  • 190 acres to be purchased, with 40 acres dedicated to the intermodal facility
  • Remainder dedicated to industrial use
  • Exclusive Farm Use (EFU)
  • Applying the ‘commercial in conjunction with farm use’ condition to zoning ensures facility will be utilized to benefit agricultural enterprises
  • Heavy Industrial Use
Environmental Review
  • Greenfield site
  • Extensive environmental reconnaissance completed to identify all potential risks associated with this project
  • Brownfield site
  • Phase 1 Environmental Assessment completed in 2015
  • No evidence of additional reconnaissance



Principals and Consultants

Oregon Port of Willamette Consultants Intermodal, Transload, Transportation, and Port Operations

Business Planning, Economic Analysis, and Finance

Facility Planning and Construction

Legal Services

Professional Services

Oregon Port of Willamette - Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility Proposal
Oregon Port of Willamette - Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility Proposal
Oregon Port of Willamette - Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility Proposal

Head Office

2007 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
T: 503-480-0523
F: 503-362-0513



Kevin Mannix
Executive Director
Oregon Port of Willamette

Connor Harrington
Deputy Director
Oregon Shipping Group

Debbie Ku
Executive Assistant
Oregon Port of Willamette


For any inquiries or questions, please call: 503-480-0523 or fill out the following form.