I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project November 2021 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Reflecting on Albina: Albina’s Finest
  • Meet the Changemakers: Tyrone Bailey Jr.
  • Advisory Committees: New News and Recent Recap
  • Get the Facts: Opportunities to Influence Design
  • Rose Quarter Underground

Reflecting on Albina: Albina’s Finest

A picture of Marty Jones smiling

Martin (Marty) Jones, Director of Austin Studios and Executive Produce of Albina’s Finest

When Marty Jones first drove through the Albina neighborhood, he didn’t know that nearly a decade later he’d be telling the stories of its people. Let alone doing that during a global pandemic.

“It was surreal as I experienced the turbo-charged gentrification of historic Albina,” the 30-year film and television veteran said, describing how he felt accompanying his son through the area for a school project. What the father and son witnessed that day ended up informing a 20-page school paper for his son’s class at Oregon Episcopal School. “He wrote a 10,000-word literary journalism project about the near erasure of the vibrant African American nucleus in Portland.”

It also informed a future project that Jones would produce almost a decade later for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. With a working title of “Albina’s Finest,” the long form video will debut in February 2022 and feature first-person accounts of what life was once like in Albina. With a focus on the past, present and future, it will also detail the project values and potential benefits for the Black community.

Three people in a room testing lighting and cameras for filming.

The PDX Black Excellence film crew at work on reel for Albina’s Finest.

While Jones had no idea that he, too, was doing research on Albina while he was out with his son that afternoon, he really didn’t know that he’d one day be telling its story during a global pandemic. The former CEO of MetroEast Community Media and current head of Austin Studios says he’s now an expert at maintaining a set that is following CDC guidelines. “Our industry could teach a master class on how to operate in a pandemic,” Jones says. For a community that is no stranger to change and adversity, even a global pandemic can’t stop them from sharing their truths. Jones says he is happy to be with them on this journey. “It’s an honor to create a vibrant video that holistically, authentically and honestly connects with the true stories and insights of Portland’s Black community.” The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project is grateful for all of our interviewees and the masterful visual storytelling Martin Jones and PDX Black Excellence provides as we seek to uplift the community and gain support for the project.

Meet the Changemakers: Tyrone Bailey Jr.

The remainder of the year, we’ll be introducing members of the Raimore Construction team − the folx gearing up to build the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. Watch for news releases every other Wednesday on our Success Stories page or through ODOT’s Urban Mobility Office Twitter page. 

Tyrone Bailey Jr (left) stands with his father Tyrone Bailey Sr (right), founder of Bailey's Construction Unlimited.

“I want to make my dad proud of what I’ve done for the business. That’s what drives me—to be able to be successful and make him proud.

Tyrone Bailey, Jr. had his eyes on a construction career from the start. Because his father works in the industry, he knew better than to believe the misconceptions about construction work being back-breaking, overly laborious or even dangerous. He knew it for what it is: a solid route to self-sufficiency; a career path worthy of supporting families with endless opportunities to learn.

“There’s a lot of money to be made,” Tyrone says. “Portland is constantly changing and growing. There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be worked on and needs to grow.”

Watch the October 19 presentation to hear the Historic Albina Advisory Board’s input on future opportunities to shape the design of the highway cover, local streets, walls and overpasses. The Board will continue discussing local streets improvements at future meeting. While we’ll be bringing these and other considerations to the public next year, there are a number of ways you can get involved and share your feedback on the project today.

Advisory Committees: New News and Recent Recap

Check out what will be happening at this month’s upcoming committee meetings:

Missed last month’s meetings? Here are the highlights:

  • Tuesday, October 19: Historic Albina Advisory Board − The board heard a project update, provided feedback on design considerations at the highway edge and for landscaped areas, shaped the definition of “restorative justice” for the project and discussed updates to the Board Charter.

Get the Facts: Opportunities to Influence Design

Throughout the design phase, there will be many opportunities to share opinions and shape the design of the highway cover, local streets, walls and overpasses and other features.

LOCAL STREETS

The adoption of Hybrid 3 changed the planned local street design for the highway cover and seven local streets are now under consideration for improvements: N Williams Avenue, N Vancouver Avenue, N Flint Avenue, NE Victoria Avenue, N Broadway, N Weidler Street and N Hancock Street. Each one of these streets plays an important role in how people will travel through the Albina area.

A map of the project area with the seven local streets under consideration for improvements highlighted: N Williams Avenue, N Vancouver Avenue, N Flint Avenue, NE Victoria Avenue, N Broadway, N Weidler Street and N Hancock Street.

A map of the project area with the seven local streets under consideration for improvements highlighted: N Williams Avenue, N Vancouver Avenue, N Flint Avenue, NE Victoria Avenue, N Broadway, N Weidler Street and N Hancock Street.

As design progresses, we are looking to the community to share what is important and help us shape local street improvements such as:

  • sidewalk design and street crossings for people walking, rolling and biking through the area
  • the look and feel of the street environment and gathering spaces for people
  • location of bus stops, amenities at bus stops and placement of traffic signals
  • design and placement of bicycle paths
  • location of parking, loading and drop-off locations

WALLS AND OVERPASSES

There is over a mile worth of walls, support columns and bridge decks added as part of Hybrid 3. These hard surfaces will be seen by people traveling on I-5 and by people walking, rolling, biking, driving and riding transit in the neighborhoods around the freeway. We want the community to help shape the look and feel of these structures. There is potential to be creative and represent the culture of Albina by adding textured patterns, murals and incorporating plants along sound walls, retaining walls, columns and overpasses.

Example of a textured overpass columns.

Example of textured overpass columns.

A picture showing plants growing on a cement wall.

Example of a landscaped wall.

Graphic with the words Rose Quarter Underground. Icons are displayed of people, a person reading a construction plan, a traffic cone, buildings, and a person with a bike.

Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

ODOT contractor crews are out in the project area to collect critical data to inform project design and construction:

Activity Description  Duration  
Soil sampling Collecting soil samples in the project area Mid-October – November 2021
Hazardous materials sampling Collection of paint and other materials samples in project area Mid-October – November 2021

People traveling in the area will see drilling equipment and can expect typical construction impacts such as a slight increase in noise, vibration and dust. There are no anticipated lane closures or detours for people travelling through the area. Parking at some businesses may be temporarily restricted when work is occurring at a specific location.



About the Project

I-5 between I-84 and I-405 is the top traffic bottleneck in Oregon and the 28th worst bottleneck in the nation. It also has:

  • some of the highest traffic volumes in the State of Oregon with 12 hours of traffic congestion each day
  • a crash rate 3.5 times higher than the statewide average
  • a lack of full shoulders in key areas for crashes to clear and emergency vehicles to access
  • nearby local streets lacking neighborhood connections and with undersized or incomplete pedestrian and bicycle facilities

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project will add auxiliary lanes and shoulders that smooth traffic flow and improve operations to make local and regional travel more predictable and safer for people driving and transporting goods. It includes street improvements to enhance safety and access for people travelling within and through the area. The project will support the regional economy, future economic development and a more connected and equitable Albina community.

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 services, interpretation services or more information, call 503-731-4128 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.

如果您想瞭解這個項目,我們有提供繁體中文翻譯,請致電:503-731-4128。

如果您想了解这个项目,我们有提供简体中文翻译,请致电:503-731-4128。

For 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.

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

I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project: November 2021 Meetings Notice

For more information, contact: Tia Williams, 971-378-4295, tia.williams@odot.state.or.us.

The public is invited to attend two upcoming advisory committee meetings for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

On Tuesday, November 16, the Historic Albina Advisory Board (HAAB) will meet online from 4:00 – 6:20 p.m. On Thursday, November 18, the Community Oversight Advisory Committee (COAC) will meet online from 4:00– 6:00 p.m. Please visit the project’s events page for more information.

Anyone can observe the meetings and share comments via email, phone or online:

  • Email comments on specific agenda items to info@I5RoseQuarter.org with “HAAB Public Comment” or “COAC Public Comment” in the subject line.
  • Submit comments via phone at the project’s hotline: 503-470-3127.
  • The facilitator will also provide an opportunity for online participants to provide comments during the meeting for up to one minute via phone (the number is provided at the beginning of the meeting and listed on the events page).

Comments received by 11:00 a.m. the business day before the meeting will be shared with project committee members in advance. All written and voice recorded comments received will be added to the meeting record.

This is a virtual meeting in response to Governor Brown’s directive on physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure to our communities. The meeting will also be livestreamed on YouTube: HAAB, COAC.

All project committee meetings are open to the public. If you wish to attend a virtual meeting but cannot attend by phone or computer, or you require language accommodations, please contact the project team at 503-470-3127 at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.


MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE

For ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or Civil Rights Title VI accommodations, translation services, interpretation services or more information, call 503-731-4128 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.

如果您想瞭解這個項目,我們有提供繁體中文翻譯,請致電:503-731-4128

如果您想了解这个项目,我们有提供简体中文翻译,请致电:503-731-4128