(Valley Jct. to near Willamina; Hwy #39 MP 23.04 to 26.77, 3.72 miles)
(within Salem; Hwy #72 MP 5.19-Hwy #162 MP 1.43, 3.55 miles)
"Over the Three Rivers Highway from its junction with Oregon Coast Highway, US101, at Hebo, southeasterly via Dolph and Grand Ronde Agency to its junction with the Salmon River Highway, OR18, at Valley Junction; thence easterly over the Salmon River Highway (common with OR18) to its junction with the Willamina-Salem Highway at Wallace Bridge approximately two miles west of Willamina;
"Thence southeasterly over the Willamina-Salem Highway via Buell and Eola to its junction with the Salem Highway in Salem;
"Thence southeasterly over the Salem Highway via Front Street, Pringle Parkway, and Mission Street (in common with OR99E Business) to its junction with Pacific Highway, I-5 and OR99E, and the North Santiam Highway at the North Santiam Interchange in Salem;
"Thence southeasterly over the North Santiam Highway via Stayton, Mill City, Detroit, and Idanha to its junction with the Santiam Highway, US20, approximately 12 miles west of Suttle Lake."
~ ODOT, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, March 2007
OR-22 was designated at the inception of the Oregon state route numbering system in 1932 along the Willamina-Salem Highway #30. The route of the original 29.67 mile-long OR-22 (then routed along two different highways: the Dallas-Willamina Highway #192 and the Dallas-Salem Highway #30) was a little bit different than it is today, routed along what is now all of the OR-223 Spur (Dallas-Rickreall Highway #189) between Dallas and Rickreall, a three-mile section of Perrydale Rd. (Dallas and Polk county maintained), and another section of Rickreall Rd. (Rickreall and Polk County maintained); this section was realigned in 1958 along its current, more direct route. In 1952, OR-22 was extended westward to Hebo along a little bit of OR-18 (Salmon River Highway #39) and all of the old OR-14 (Three Rivers Highway #32); also, a couple of years earlier, OR-22 was extended eastward to Santiam Jct. along the former routing of OR-222 (Silver Creek Falls Highway #163 from Salem to near Aumsville; North Santiam Highway #162 (?) from near Aumsville to Santiam Jct.). Sometime in the late 1950s to early 1960s, a new direct route was built between Salem and Mehama, including 10 miles of pseudo-freeway; the old highway was turned over to local and county jurisdictions. Finally, OR-22 was realigned through downtown with the creation of OR-99E Business (Salem Highway #72) in 1986, the routing still in existence today; see below for original Salem routings.
Before OR-22 was built along a much straighter route between Willamina and Salem, it was routed through Dallas as shown above. This routing, shown in both red and green, was routed south along Perrydale Rd. (then a part of the Willamina-Dallas Highway #192) from Dolph Corner to Dallas, then east along what is now the Dallas-Rickreall Highway (then a part of the Dallas-Salem Highway #30) between Dallas and Fir Villa, then along what is now Rickreall Rd. (also a former part of the Dallas-Salem Highway) from Fir Villa through Rickreall before meeting the current OR-22 near Greenwood. The reason I have both parts colored differently is because they were bypassed at different times: the red section was bypassed in 1958 (then renumbered an extension of OR-223), and the green was bypassed sometime in the early 1960s.
OR-22 had two routings into and through Salem from its extension in the 1950s until today, and both of them are shown here, and both are intact. The first one, shown in gold, was created in 1952 when OR-22 was extended through Salem; it originally crossed the Willamette River on one bridge as Center St., then followed Commercial St. south to US-99E (Court St. becoming Commercial St.), then cosigned with US-99E along Court St. east, then briefly south on 12th St. before following State St. out of Salem to Lancaster Dr. in Four Corners, following it out of town (see below). The second one, shown in blue, was created with the slight realignment of US-99 Business (formerly US-99E) through Salem to accomodate the building of the Salem Bypass (then US-99 Bypass, now I-5/OR-99E) in 1956; it was routed along Marion and Center Sts. east (duplexed with US-99 Business along these streets from Commercial St. to Sumner and Capitol Sts.), then south along 12th St., eastbound onto State St., southbound onto Airport Rd., then finally eastbound on Mission St. to the Salem Bypass and out of town along the newly-built freeway. Until the new freeway fully opened in the 1960s, the blue route ran past the Salem Bypass along its current route until Lancaster Dr., where it temporarily followed the gold route out of town.
Speaking of the gold route, this routing was the original route of OR-222 from Salem to Santiam Jct. It ran from Lancaster Dr. southbound from Four Corners until the road becomes the Aumsville Highway. This highway closely parallels the current OR-22 until the highway curves towards the town of Aumsville, where the road becomes 11th St. It then turns eastward onto Main St., which becomes Mill Creek Rd. as it leaves town. It used to run straight into Golf Club Rd., but with the construction of the new OR-22, it had to be diverted slightly to the south. After briefly running north on Golf Club Rd., it turns eastward onto Sublimity Rd. until it reaches Sublimity, at which point it turns south on the Cascade Highway. until reaching Stayton. After winding its way through city streets, it leaves Stayton eastward on Santiam St., which becomes Old Mehama Rd. This road crosses the new OR-22 once before rejoining it just west of Mehama. For awhile, I thought that old OR-22 was routed south along what is now OR-226 from Mehama to Lyons before turning eastward along Lyons-Mill City Dr. (the former Lyons-Mill City Highway #213) to Mill City; however, I've since learned that this stretch of highway was bypassed sometime before 1951, at or before OR-22 took over OR-222's route. My guess is this highway was also decommissioned around the same time as OR-222's removal from the state route system.