I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project October 2021 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Reflecting on Albina: Sanctuaries  
  • Meet the Changemakers: Laura Ramirez and Crystal Stone
  • Advisory Committees: New News and Recent Recap
  • Rose Quarter Underground

Reflecting on Albina

Photo of two men reaching for each other on a stage.

Photo by Intisar Abioto, courtesy of Third Angle New Music.

Sanctuaries: A Jazz Chamber Opera

In 2016, a collaboration was developing between Portland’s Third Angle New Music and composer Darrell Grant (critically-acclaimed jazz pianist and Professor of Music at Portland State University), with co-creators Anis Mojgani (two-time National Poetry Slam Individual Champion and Oregon Poet Laureate) and Alexander Gedeon (opera director). As they were throwing around ideas, the discussion led to the topic of a chamber opera. At first there was hesitation − composing that style of music made Grant feel like an outsider. After much thought, he started to identify ways he could bring his influences of jazz and improvisational experience to an opera.

Taking the opportunity to explore cultural issues and share the systemic and historic oppression of the Black community, Grant wanted to write a story centered around the impacts of gentrification in Portland. The story draws on the history of Albina’s Black community and is told through the lives of four characters returning to a neighborhood harmed by injustice. This piece is meant to be empowering and liberating for the Black community. Sanctuaries ran September 7-9 at The Veterans Memorial Coliseum Pavilion. You can get a glimpse of the project through this film by Blackbald Films, as well as the libretto (opera text) and a list of articles and other media that give additional context to the story.

Darrell states that art doesn’t change the world, but it gives people a perspective that helps people change the world. How could we and how should we do things differently? This is a question that the project team is working with the Historic Albina Advisory Board to answer for the Rose Quarter project. It includes − but also goes far beyond − how art can celebrate and reflect spaces for the Black community to conversations about providing opportunities for creating wealth generation for the Black historic Albina community.

Meet the Changemakers: Laura Ramirez and Crystal Stone

The remainder of the year, we’ll be introducing members of the Raimore Construction team − the folks 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. 

Photo of a sitting woman wearing a construction safety vest. Photo courtesy of Temitope Timothy

Growing up, if I didn’t see girls doing something, then I would want to do that thing.”

Women in construction make up just 1.5 percent of the nation’s workforce − a daunting statistic that hints at the challenges women face in the field. Laura Ramirez, a field engineer at Raimore Construction, is trying to change that statistic and prove that women like her can pivot their careers into these in-demand, rewarding jobs.

Laura’s career path didn’t initially start with construction, but from a young age, she was set on economic mobility. During the 1980s, her mother escaped the civil unrest happening in El Salvador and immigrated to Portland, building a life for herself and Laura by working long hours cleaning houses.

A woman standing in front of a window on a building. Photo courtesy of Temitope Timothy

“Working in an industry dominated by white men, Black women have to work twice as hard to get the same outcome as our peers.”

When a fire destroyed their home in Galveston, Texas almost 90 years ago, Crystal Stone’s great-grandparents moved west, first to Vancouver before buying a home in Northeast Portland. Her great-grandfather quickly became a central pillar in the community, helping to establish the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Homeownership and entrepreneurialism ran deep in her family, and Northeast Portland proved to be fertile ground for their efforts: her grandparents on one side of the family owned a home on Northeast Rodney and Going, and her grandfather had a barbershop on Northeast 7th and Knott. Her maternal grandmother still lives in the area.

The family has witnessed vast changes in Northeast Portland. The church co-founded by her great-grandfather was displaced during the redevelopment period in the 1950s and 1960s that brought I-5 and Legacy Emanuel Hospital to Albina − a devastating experience for the congregants and the larger community. Even now, Portland’s neighborhoods continue to change, altering the cultural fabric in significant ways. “To see how much the city has changed in the last 15 years is kind of scary,” she says.

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:

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 Soil sample collection in project area October – November 2021
Hazardous materials sampling Collection of paint and other materials samples in project area 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 September 2021 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Reflecting on Albina  
  • Meet the Changemakers: Eric Knox
  • August & September Committee Recap 
  • Rose Quarter Committee Updates
  • Get the Facts: What is Hybrid 3?
  • Independent Cover Assessment Final Report
  • Rose Quarter Underground

Reflecting on Albina

Recently we featured a brand new Albina mural memorializing the neighborhood’s history. But did you know a series of murals celebrating Black history once adorned the Albina Human Resource Center?

On February 10, 1978, seven artists began a year-long project to complete five mural panels and one sculpture telling Black Portland’s story. The piece began by depicting the Transatlantic Slave Trade, followed by Black migrants first moving to the Northwest and then arriving in Portland to work as shipbuilders as part of the 1940s war effort, the later Vanport flood tragedy, and finally the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

While the murals were lost to weather in 1983, they live on through the film “Albina Murals” created by Christopher Bangs, Richard Caplan, Lan Fendors, Gary Eppelsheimer, and Donna Schatz. The Portland State University Library was able to restore the 1978 film with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation (Source: Portland State University Library Special Collections & University Archives, selections from the Center for the Moving Image Film Collection).

Meet the Changemakers: Eric Knox

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

Image of a man kneeling and holding a basketball. Text on the image says Success Story, with a quote from Eric Knox who is a coach and mentor. The quote says "Programs don't change people, people change people, period. And the only way you're gonna change another person's life is you gotta be nearby and be available to build relationship.". Photo Courtesy of Temitope Timothy.

For longtime coach, mentor and pastor Eric Knox, building a community of support and developing young men and women into the next generation of community leaders is a calling that drew him to Portland over 30 years ago.

Before coming to Oregon and playing on the men’s basketball team at Oregon State University, Eric grew up in the streets of South Central Los Angeles — home to vibrant Black businesses and middle-class families, yet with too many external distractions for a young man who dreamed of hooping in the league one day. His opportunity to tryout with the Portland Trailblazers arrived in the late 80s, and although he didn’t make the roster, he did find respite in Northeast Portland, eventually feeling called to minister basketball and the Bible — and mentorship.

August & September Committee Recap

In August we held a Community Oversight Advisory Committee meeting, two joint committee meetings between the Historic Albina Advisory Board and Executive Steering Committee where Community Oversight Advisory Committee members were invited to attend, one special meeting of the Historic Albina Advisory Board and one meeting of the Executive Steering Committee where Historic Albina Advisory Board members were invited to attend. Here are the highlights:

  • Joint Committee Meeting August 3 – The committees heard answers to their outstanding questions and concerns about project and highway cover design. They learned more about how the Hybrid 3 design option addresses those concerns and includes Board priorities. They also reviewed an approach for reaching a decision about a highway cover design option.
  • Joint Committee Meeting August 17 – The committees heard about how Hybrid 3 provides the greatest community benefit. The presentation highlighted how the project schedule can be streamlined to incorporate the design option and how the cost estimates compare. Committee members reviewed the recommendation process and answered their support for Hybrid 3.
  • Community Oversight Advisory Committee Meeting August 19 – Committee members continued their work on the Diversity Plan, focusing on workforce and apprenticeship.
  • Historic Albina Advisory Board Special Meeting August 23 – Board members reviewed the information provided at the August 17 Joint Committee Meeting and heard more about their next steps related to and voted on a recommendation.
  • Executive Steering Committee Meeting August 31 – Committee members heard an update on and expressed their support for the Board’s highway cover recommendation.

Hybrid 3 Highway Cover Option Moves Forward

On September 9, the Historic Albina Advisory Board’s highway cover recommendation was presented to the Oregon Transportation Commission. This was a consensus decision supported by the Community Oversight Advisory Committee and the Executive Steering Committee. The Oregon Transportation Commission voted to approve advancing the Hybrid 3 highway cover design option.

The Hybrid 3 highway cover design option was presented as the “win-win” option by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who convened a series of meetings with stakeholders to find a consensus plan for the path forward and then presented to the Board. This option has the potential to create new community connections that support future economic development and land redevelopment opportunities.

Upcoming Rose Quarter Committee Meetings

This month we will resume our regularly scheduled advisory committee meetings:

  • Thursday, September 16: Community Oversight Advisory Committee − The committee will focus on the Greensheet estimating tool that will allow the construction contractor to identify the path for achieving maximum Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and workforce utilization.
  • Tuesday, September 21: Historic Albina Advisory Board −The Board will hear updates on the Southbound Realignment design option and highway cover governance and start discussions around highway edges and undersides.

Get the Facts: What is Hybrid 3?

Image of the words Rose Quarter Get the Facts, in a green colored box.

Hybrid 3 was developed to meet the priorities of our project advisory committees and the community. It maintains the same highway cover concept that was originally designed, but:

  • Adds more developable space
  • Maintains the Flint Avenue overpass and reconnects Hancock Street across Flint and Vancouver Avenues
  • It also relocates the I-5 South off-ramp at Broadway farther south to Wheeler Avenue
  • Finally, it accommodates the Green Loop connection for people walking and bicycling on Broadway and Weidler Streets

Hybrid 3 is a “win-win” solution because it would:

  • Maximize developable land
  • Reconnect the local street grid
  • Reduce exposure to noise and pollution
  • Preserve needed improvements to increase safety and traffic flow on the highway
  • Support neighborhood connectivity, community access and walkability
  • Create a more vibrant street environment
  • Provide opportunities for buildings up to three stories.
  • Avoid impacts to historic properties and community redevelopment sites
  • Minimize construction delay

Independent Highway Cover Assessment Final Report

Are you a fan of urban design? Interested in diving into the details of the neighborhood redevelopment and reconnection opportunities that the highway covers offer? You can find the Independent Highway Cover Assessment Teams Final Report on their website. The report highlights the method and approach for creating the preliminary highway cover design, describes the neighborhood framework, and summarizes the different scenarios and assessment findings.

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  
Surveying Locate and record data on street trees and other existing features in the project area Ongoing in Fall 2021
Soil sampling Soil sample collection in project area October – November 2021
Hazardous materials sampling Collection of paint and other materials samples in project area October – November 2021

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.



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 smooth traffic flow between I-84 and I-405 where three interstates meet at the top traffic bottleneck in Oregon and 28th 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 and dedicated funding for project design and construction.

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 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 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.

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

January E-Newsletter

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:

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, 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.

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。

November Email Update

In this issue:

  • Rose Quarter Revised Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Released
  • Historic Albina Advisory Board Recruitment
  • Have Your say at the Online Open House
  • Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees
  • A Rose by Any Other Name: Featured Community Voices
  • Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up
  • About the Project

Rose Quarter Revised Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Released

On November 6, 2020, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project, joined with a Revised Environmental Assessment. This marks the completion of the environmental review phase under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the project and provides direction to proceed with designing the project.

 

 

Applications Now Open for Historic Albina Advisory Board

We are now accepting membership applications for the Historic Albina Advisory Board to help advise ODOT and the Executive Steering Committee about project design and future development of the historic Albina neighborhood. This volunteer board will include Black Portlanders and community members with strong connections to historic Albina who will meet approximately monthly through the design phase of the project.

The purpose of the 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.

Ericka Warren will facilitate the board. Learn more about Ericka below.

If you are interested in serving, please apply for one of the six open positions. Applications will be accepted from Monday, November 9 through Monday, November 30.

 

Rose Quarter Recap: Project Committees

Executive Steering Committee

The Executive Steering Committee met online on October 26. The committee adopted their charter and the project’s values and heard about the Independent Highway Cover Assessment process and the committee’s role in guiding that work. In the months ahead, the process will involve a series of work sessions with other stakeholder groups. The online meeting was open to the public. The committee also received a project update from Megan Channell, Project Director. 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, November 23, 2020. Check back on the project’s events page for more information.

screenshot of ESC members during a Zoom meeting

 

Have your say at the Online Open House

You’re invited to join us at an online open house from Monday, November 16 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 our 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 events page for more information on the online open house

 

A Rose by Any Other Name: Featured Community Voices

Meet Ericka Warren – Strategic Advisor and Historic Albina Advisory Board (HAAB) Facilitator

 

Ericka Warren headshot

 

 

 

“Portland is my home, Albina is my community and my ultimate goal is to see the community benefit.”

 

 

 

 

This month we are excited to spotlight a fantastic member of the community and project team. Today we hear from Ericka Warren, the new facilitator for the Historic Albina Advisory Board and project consultant with Try Excellence, LLC. On October 29, 2020, we had the opportunity to virtually sit down with Ericka to learn more about her history and her involvement in the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

How long have you lived in Portland?

My family has lived in Portland for three generations. I was born and raised in Portland and while I have also spent some time living outside of Portland – in Seattle, Detroit, and Dallas – I came back home to Portland nine years ago.

What motivated you to become involved with the Executive Steering Committee and Historic Albina Advisory Board (HAAB)?

ODOT brought Try Excellence, LLC to the table to help in strategy development as it pertains to community relations, building connections and facilitation of conversations with the agency and the Black community. We felt that this was a great opportunity to help influence the potential for growth and change in this area.

 

The Historic Albina Advisory Board really developed as a result of wanting to have measurable outcomes associated with the ideal of elevating the voices of the Black community and those that were historically harmed by past transportation projects. The Historic Albina Advisory Board is an attempt to stay aligned with the project’s values and to really allow those with deep ties to Albina and who have been impacted to be able to influence the project design.

If you wanted the community to know one thing about your job, what would it be?

That I belong to them – that I am them. My interest is to see the community benefit. What’s been great about this season in my life is I get to do something I’m passionate about. It is more than a commitment and obligation, more than just a job. It represents my family and those elders in the community who sacrificed before me. It’s an opportunity to influence, educate, and bridge gaps.

A fun fact about yourself?

It may surprise people that I majored in Asian Studies/Japanese at the University of Oregon. Most people probably wouldn’t expect that. Japanese and other languages were tonal for me, meaning I could easily mimic the tone. Being a singer growing up, the tonal nature of Japanese was easy. After I finished school, I went out on the road singing and spent a number of years touring as a professional singer. It’s fun for my daughter because we get to speak a little Japanese as she’s really into Anime.

 

A gracious arigato to Ericka Warren for her leadership!

 

Rose Quarter Underground: Looking at Conditions from the Bottom Up

ODOT contractor crews are out in the project area to collect critical data to inform project design.

ODOT contractor crews are out in the project area to collect critical data to inform project design. The following types of field work are scheduled to take place:

Activity Description Duration
Utility mapping Locate, map and record data on underground utilities in Project area June – December 2020
Soil sampling Soil sample collection in Project area July – November 2020

 

 

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:

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, 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.

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。