I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project Newsletter

June 15, 2021

In this issue

  • Reflecting on Albina: Juneteenth 
  • More Time to Make Your Voice Heard! Final Highway Cover Online Open House Extended  
  • Meet the Changemakers: New Summer Series 
  • Important Committee Conversations Happening this Month! 
  • Rose Quarter Recap: Committee Updates
  • Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

Reflecting on Albina: Juneteenth

 

Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day observes the announcement of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African American slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery was made on January 1, 1863 but it was not until two years later on the June 19, 1865 that the announcement was made in Texas.

Juneteenth events celebrate Black heritage and commemorate the continuous work of the Black community to tear down systems of oppression. It has been celebrated in Oregon as early as 1945. In Portland this includes marches, street fairs, speakers, music, and more in the Albina area. In addition to celebration, it is also a time for our broader communities, cities, state and nation to assess progress, contemplate self-improvement, and identify next steps for continuing this work into the future.

 

Meet the Changemakers: New Summer Series

Each week this summer, we’ll be introducing a member of the Raimore Construction team − the folks gearing up to build the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. Watch for new releases on Wednesdays at our Success Stories page or through ODOT’s new Urban Mobility Office Twitter page. Continue reading below for a preview of the first story in the series introducing DeAngelo Moaning.

DeAngelo Moaning, Raimore Construction

“The project is a four- to five-year project that will create opportunities for our community to actually build and understand what these trades can do for us − make a living-wage, create our own infrastructure, start a business, and then pass the knowledge on to those after us.”

For many young Black and Brown men and women, the history of America’s infrastructure is their story − their heritage. This is especially true for DeAngelo Moaning, an IT administrator and operations manager for Raimore Construction and third-generation Portlander. DeAngelo’s family has worked in this community for generations. His father and uncle worked on the original construction of the Moda Center, his mom worked for Albina Head Start for the past 30 years, and his grandfather was part of the team that built the railroad running through North Portland.

DeAngelo will engage Black Portlanders as part of Raimore’s outreach efforts for the Rose Quarter project.

 

Important Committee Conversations Happening this Month!

Community Oversight Advisory Committee June 17

The next Community Oversight Advisory Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, June 17. The focus of the meeting will be discussions around subcontracting and approaches to technical assistance and capacity building for the Diversity Plan.

The project’s events page includes information for how to watch the meeting, what is included on the agenda, and how you can provide public comment.

Historic Albina Advisory Board Meeting June 22

The next committee meeting of the Historic Albina Advisory Board will take place on Tuesday, June 22. The Independent Highway Cover Assessment team will give a final presentation to the Board on the highway cover design scenarios and concepts. The Executive Steering Committee also has been invited to attend and join the Historic Albina Advisory Board in the conversation. The Historic Albina Advisory Board will also consider making a recommendation to the Executive Steering Committee regarding the highway covers.

The project’s events page includes information for how to watch the meeting, what is included on the agenda, and how you can provide public comment.

Executive Steering Committee June 28

The next Executive Steering Committee meeting will take place on Monday, June 28. The Independent Highway Cover Assessment team will give a final presentation to the Committee on the highway cover design scenarios and concepts.  Informed by the recommendation of the Historic Albina Advisory Board, the committee will then consider making a recommendation to the Oregon Transportation Commission regarding the highway covers.

The project’s events page includes information for how to watch the meeting, what is included on the agenda, and how you can provide public comment.

Oregon Transportation Commission July 15

Informed by the recommendations of the Historic Albina Advisory Board and Executive Steering Committee and the Independent Highway Cover Assessment engagement, the Oregon Transportation Committee will provide direction on highway covers that best support the community vision on Thursday, July 15.

ODOT’s website includes information for how to watch the meeting, what is included on the agenda, and how you can provide public comment.

 

Rose Quarter Recap: Committee Updates

In case you missed it, here’s what happened during last month’s advisory committee meetings:

Joint Historic Albina Advisory Board, Executive Steering Committee, and Community Oversight Advisory Committee Meeting May 18

The Historic Albina Advisory Board, Executive Steering Committee, and Community Oversight Advisory Committee held a joint virtual meeting, Tuesday, May 18. The agenda focused on the project’s preliminary Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and workforce program and initial technical analysis of highway cover design considerations. The committees also had the opportunity to discuss shared concerns and alignment around shared goals and outcomes. Check the project’s events page to view meeting materials or watch a recording of this meeting.

Joint Executive Steering Committee and Historic Albina Advisory Board Meeting May 24

The Executive Steering Committee and Historic Albina Advisory Board held a joint virtual meeting on Monday, May 24. This meeting was a continuation of discussion from the May 18 meeting with additional details related to the highway cover concepts provided by the Independent Cover Assessment Team. The committees also had the opportunity to discuss shared concerns and alignment around shared goals and outcomes. Check the project’s events page to view meeting materials or watch a recording of this meeting.

Historic Albina Advisory Board June 1

The Historic Albina Advisory Board met in a virtual meeting open to the public on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. The meeting opened with committee and project updates and focused on work session #3 led by the Independent Highway Cover Assessment team. In the work session, committee members reviewed final development scenarios and evaluated and ranked each development scenario’s performance in relationship to the community’s values and feasibility. Check the project’s events page to view meeting materials or watch a recording of this meeting.

The purpose of the Historic Albina Advisory Board is to elevate voices in the Black community to ensure that project outcomes reflect community interests and values and that historic Albina directly benefits from the investments of this project. The board brings community perspectives into the project’s decision-making process concerning elements that most directly support community connections, urban design and wealth generation in the Black and historic Albina community. Ericka Warren facilitates the committee meetings.

 

Executive Steering Committee June 7

The Executive Steering Committee met in a virtual meeting open to the public on Monday, June 7, 2020. The meeting opened with committee and project updates and focused on work session #3 led by the Independent Highway Cover Assessment team. In the work session, committee members reviewed final development scenarios and evaluated and ranked each development scenario’s performance in relationship to the community’s values and feasibility. Check the project’s events page to view meeting materials or watch a recording of this meeting.

The Oregon Transportation Commission convened the Executive Steering Committee in consultation with ODOT and regional partners to advise the Oregon Transportation Commission 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. Oregon Transportation Commission Vice Chair Alando Simpson is the committee chair and Dr. Steven Holt facilitates the committee meetings.

 

Community Oversight Advisory Committee

The Community Oversight Advisory Committee’s virtual meeting on Thursday, May 20 was cancelled due to the committee’s participation in the May 18 joint committee meeting.

 

Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

 

Soil sampling activity taking place near I-5.

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, and driving, 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

Surveying

Locate and record data on street trees and other existing features in the project area

June 2021

Soil sampling

Soil sample collection in project area

June 2021

Hazardous materials sampling

Collection of paint and other materials samples in project area

June 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, 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:

www.i5RoseQuarter.org

 

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 or Oregon Relay Service 7-1-1.

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TTY (800) 735-2900 or Oregon Relay Service 7-1-1.

Learn how we’re evolving to build a modern transportation system based on
sufficient funding and equity. www.oregon.gov/odot/Pages/SAP