December E-Newsletter

I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project Newsletter

December 2, 2020

In this issue:

  • How do you envision the Rose Quarter?
  • Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees
  • Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up
  • About the Project

How do you envision the Rose Quarter?

It’s not too late! You’re invited to join us at an online open house through Sunday, December 6 to learn about and influence the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

We’re sorry we can’t meet in person right now, due to COVID-19 safety measures, but we want to share what is currently happening with the project and hear your feedback on what happens next.

Your feedback, combined with the work with our advisory committees, the Independent Cover Assessment, and ongoing conversations with our partners and stakeholders will help us understand community expectations, inform future design decisions, and ensure we deliver on our commitment to reconnect historic Albina in a way that reflects the community’s values. We are working with the community to develop and build a transformative project that addresses congestion, safety and community connections, and leads to economic opportunities, especially for our African American community members.

Visit the Get Involved page for more information on the online open house.

Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees

Executive Steering Committee

The Executive Steering Committee met online on November 23. The committee heard about the schedule of work, key milestones, and procedures for the Independent Highway Cover Assessment. The committee heard takeaways about how the project can further build upon existing work to enhance cover design and began discussions around partnerships for building, operating, and maintaining the covers over time. The committee also received a project update from Megan Channell, Project Director. The online meeting was open to the public. View a video of the meeting and download materials at the project website.

The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) convened the Executive Steering Committee in consultation with ODOT and regional partners to advise the OTC and ODOT on I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project decisions. The committee advises on principles and values to guide the Project, design elements such as highway covers, equitable engagement strategies, and other considerations. OTC Vice Chair Alando Simpson is the committee chair and Dr. Steven Holt facilitates the committee meetings. The next meeting will take place on Monday, December 14, 2020. Check back on the Project’s events page for more information.

Learn more about the Executive Steering Committee

Community Oversight Advisory Committee

The public is invited to attend the next I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project Community Oversight Advisory Committee meeting. On Thursday, December 10, the committee will meet online from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. See the Events page on the project’s website for more information on the meeting’s agenda and how to engage.

 Learn more about the Community Oversight Advisory Committee

Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

Crews conducting soil sampling will be using heavy equipment like the truck-mounted and track-mounted rigs shown above.

ODOT contractor crews are out in the Project area to collect critical data to inform Project design and construction. This work will cause temporary closures and detours for people walking, biking, rolling, driving, and on transit. Anticipated closures and detours will be posted weekly on TripCheck. You may hear some noise as crews work nearby, but activities will be no louder than typical traffic noise.


Three types of separate field work are scheduled to take place:


Activity Description Duration
Utility mapping Locate, map and record data on underground utilities in project area December 2020– March 2021
Soil sampling Soil sample collection in project area December 2020 – April 2021
Hazardous materials sampling Collection of paint and other materials samples in project area December 2020 – March 2021

 Check here soon to learn more about work hours and traffic and noise impacts

About the Project

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project is committed to supporting a safer, more just and inclusive Albina community and greater Portland region. The project will make local, regional, and international travel more predictable and reduce frequent crashes on the I-5 corridor, supporting Oregon’s economy, and will create new community connections to support future economic development. We must ensure the historic Albina community benefits from the investment of this project.

The project will improve community places, spaces, and connections. It will reimagine highway overpasses to complement local street improvements that reconnect neighborhood streets. It will enhance public spaces while supporting opportunities for economic development and wealth generation for the Black community, including land redevelopment opportunities. On I-5, the project will add auxiliary lanes and shoulders to improve travel reliability and safety and will smooth traffic flow between I-84 and I-405 where three interstates meet at the top traffic bottleneck in Oregon and 19th worst bottleneck in the nation. The project is led by the Oregon Department of Transportation. The Oregon State Legislature identified the project as a key transportation investment in 2017.

Learn more about the project and sign up for email updates at:

In response to Governor Kate Brown’s directive to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” all Project public meetings are being held on a virtual platform. We are committed to maintaining accessibility and transparency for all public meetings. Look to the Project website for opportunities to get involved. Visit the agency’s COVID-19 web page for more information.

For ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or Civil Rights Title VI accommodations, translation/interpretation services, or more information call 503-731-4128, TTY 800-735- 2900 or Oregon Relay Service 7-1-1.

Si desea obtener información sobre este proyecto traducida al español, sírvase llamar al 503-731-4128.

Nếu quý vị muốn thông tin về dự án này được dịch sang tiếng Việt, xin gọi 503-731-4128.

Если вы хотите чтобы информация об этом проекте была переведена на русский язык, пожалуйста, звоните по телефону 503-731-4128.