I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project Newsletter

January 5, 2021

In this issue:

  • Historic Albina Advisory Board Roster Announced
  • Public Survey Results: What We Heard
  • Online Open House Results
  • Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees
  • Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

Historic Albina Advisory Board Announced

On January 4, 2021, we announced the 13 members of the Historic Albina Advisory Board. The Board will advise the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project and its Executive Steering Committee about project design and how the project can support future development opportunities within the historic Albina neighborhood. This volunteer Board will include Black Portlanders with strong connections to Historic Albina. The list of members can be found here.

The Board includes appointed members and at-large members selected through a public application process. The ten appointed members were identified by ODOT’s strategic engagement team led by Ericka Warren of Try Excellence, LLC., a third-generation Portlander, who will also serve as the Board’s facilitator. The three members at-large were chosen and interviewed by the strategic engagement team through a collaborative process with ODOT and Metro as a project partner. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 12. The agenda for the first meeting is available on the events page with additional meeting materials posted this week.

Public Survey Results: What We Heard

From September 8 through 28, 2020, we conducted a public survey to better understand community vision and values for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project and project area. A total of 605 adults in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties were asked a variety of questions ranging from their view on project elements to highway cover uses and project values. In line with the project values of restoring justice and elevating Black voices, the survey oversampled the African American community to better reflect the perspectives of people living in the Albina community (rather than the region).

After being provided with more information about the values and elements, 77 percent of Portland area respondents and 83 percent of African American respondents expressed support for the project. We heard support for all of the project values and that the I-5 new shoulders and auxiliary lanes were highly popular elements of the project. Outdoor areas were the most popular highway cover uses among all respondents, while buildings containing affordable space for community organizations and other restorative justice elements were most popular with African American respondents.

Online Open House Results

We recently held an online open house from November 16 to December 6, 2020 with over 2,300 people in attendance. The online open house was an opportunity to provide project information and updates and share the project’s values and commitment to an equitable and inclusionary planning process and outcomes.

Consistent with the public survey, we also asked for feedback on potential highway cover uses and heard from over 300 participants. Similar to the statistically significant public survey, we heard support for outdoor areas, community gathering spaces, and buildings with space for affordable housing and community organizations. This feedback will be combined with the results from the public survey and other input we’ve received, as well as the results of future outreach, to guide us in designing and building a project that meets the needs of the community it serves. If you missed our online open house or have additional feedback, you can submit comments and questions at any time through the project website.

Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees

Executive Steering Committee

The Executive Steering Committee met online on December 14, 2020. Following a project update, the meeting focused on the Independent Highway Cover Assessment. The committee discussed outreach, urban design context, and the Independent Cover Assessment team’s proposed approach for developing and evaluating highway cover designs and for ensuring that team’s independence in the process. The committee also heard about the results of the public survey. 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 January 25. Check back on the project’s events page for more information.

Community Oversight Advisory Committee

The Community Oversight Advisory Committee met online on December 10, 2020. The meeting opened with an introduction to Hamilton Sundt A Joint Venture in association with Raimore Construction, the Construction Manager/General Contractor. Megan Channell, Project Director, provided a project update about how the project values will advance accountability moving forward.

With this values framework in mind, the committee participated in two breakout groups where members discussed recommendations to the construction manager related to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, workforce diversity and development goals, and project accountability. The online meeting was open to the public. View a video of the meeting and download materials at the project website. The next meeting will take place on Thursday January 28. Check back on the project’s events page for more information.

Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

Crews conducting soil sampling are using heavy equipment like the truck-mounted rig 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, but the 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

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.

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