I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project: Join Us at the Public Hearing Tonight

Over the past year and a half, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the City of Portland, have been conducting an environmental study, also known as an Environmental Assessment, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The Environmental Assessment was published on February 15, 2019 and is now available for public review and comment.

Review the Project’s Environmental Assessment.

The project is hosting a public hearing where you can provide verbal testimony to project decision makers, following a brief project presentation.

Elected officials will comment first, followed by comments from the general public.

Public Hearing


icon of person speaking

March 12, 2019
Oregon Convention Center – Room A108
777 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland, OR
4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Sign up to speak
5:00 p.m. – Event begins: Presentation followed by public comments


Speakers will have up to two minutes to speak and must:

  • sign up in person during official registration, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on March 12
  • only sign up for themselves

There are 10 accessible parking spaces on Parking Level 1 (P1) and 11 accessible spaces on Parking Level 2 (P2). Parking Level 2 (P2) includes accessible areas with a 9-foot ceiling clearance to accommodate adapted vehicles.

The Oregon Convention Center is located off of Interstate 5 North from Exit 302A-Rose Quarter, or from Interstate 84 West Exit 1-Lloyd Boulevard. The Oregon Convention Center is also easily accessible via Bus Line #6, Portland Streetcar’s Central Loop, and MAX.

The westbound platform at Convention Center MAX Station (Stop ID 8376) is temporarily closed due to adjacent construction. The eastbound platform (Stop ID 8341) will remain open.

During the closure, use nearby westbound MAX platforms at Rose Quarter Transit Center (Stop ID 8377) or NE 7th Ave (Stop ID 8375).

Learn more at http://trimet.org/alerts/conventioncenter.htm.

How else can I review the study and provide feedback?

There are many ways to provide your input during the comment period that runs from February 15 – April 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Read the full news release.

You Are Invited – Open House March 7th

Over the past year and a half, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the City of Portland, have been conducting an environmental study, also known as an Environmental Assessment, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The Environmental Assessment was published on February 15, 2019 and is now available for public review and comment.

Review the Project’s Environmental Assessment.

The project is hosting an open house where you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn more about the project
  • Review the environmental study findings and provide your comments
  • Talk with project team members

Public Open House

March 7, 2019
5:30-8 p.m.
Leftbank Annex
101 N Weidler
Portland, OR 97227

 

There are four accessible parking spaces in the reserved Annex lot located on the north side of N Weidler St between N Vancouver Ave and N Williams Ave. The Leftbank Annex is easily accessible by bus and MAX, and is one block from the first stop on the east side of the Portland Streetcar line. The area is a major bicycle corridor and is easily accessible from every direction.

How else can I review the study and provide feedback?

There are many ways to provide your input during the comment period that runs from February 15 – April 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.

About the Project

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project was created by ODOT in partnership with the City of Portland and with input from the local community. It will improve both local streets and I-5 in the Rose Quarter area resulting in a more safe and connected community that will keep people moving, whether you walk, bike, roll, drive, take transit, use local streets or the highway.

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

www.i5RoseQuarter.org

Read the full newsletter. 

Environmental Study Ready For Public Review and Comment!

The public comment period is open from February 15 – April 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Over the past year and a half, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the City of Portland, have been conducting an environmental study, also known as an Environmental Assessment, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The Environmental Assessment was published on February 15, 2019 and is now available for public review and comment.

Review the Project’s Environmental Assessment.

There are many ways to read and comment on the Environmental Assessment:

Printed copies of the Environmental Assessment are available for public review at the following locations. Visit the front desk to review the printed copy:

  • ODOT Region 1 – 123 NW Flanders St, Portland, Oregon 97209
  • FHWA Oregon Division – 530 Center Street NE, Suite 420, Salem, OR 97301
  • Matt Dishman Community Center – 77 NE Knott St, Portland, OR 97212
  • Multnomah County Library Branches
    • Central: 801 SW 10th Ave
    • North Portland: 512 N Killingsworth St
    • Albina: 3605 NE 15th Ave

To request an alternative format, please contact info@i5rosequarter.org or call 503-423-3760.

How else can I review the study and provide feedback?

There are many ways to provide your input during the comment period that runs from February 15 – April 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.

 

What’s included in the study?

 

The Environmental Assessment is a reader-friendly report which outlines the benefits and impacts of the project. The report describes why the project is being proposed, what needs the project addresses, and examines the project’s potential social, economic and environmental impacts for the following topic areas:

 

 

  • Transportation
  • Air Quality
  • Noise
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Justice
  • Parks / Section 4(f)
  • Historic Resources / Section 106
  • Archaeological Resources
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Land Use
  • Socioeconomics
  • Water Resources
  • Right of Way
  • Utilities
  • Aquatic Biology

About the Project

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project was created by ODOT in partnership with the City of Portland and with input from the local community. It will improve both local streets and I-5 in the Rose Quarter area resulting in a more safe and connected community that will keep people moving, whether you walk, bike, roll, drive, take transit, use local streets or the highway.

Learn more about the project and sign up for email updates at: www.i5RoseQuarter.org

Read the full newsletter.

Rose Quarter environmental assessment ready for public comment

For more information, contact Don Hamilton, 503-704-7452, don.hamilton@odot.state.or.us

PORTLAND – The Oregon Department of Transportation and the City of Portland invite the public to comment on the environmental assessment findings released Friday for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

This project proposes investments in new infrastructure in the heart of Portland including safety and operational improvements that include highway covers over I-5 to replace and seismically upgrade existing bridges, new bicycle and pedestrian crossings and new ramp-to-ramp connections and safety shoulders on I-5.

The project recently reached an important milestone with the release of the environmental assessment, a required step in project development. The study and technical references are available at https://i5rosequarter.org/.

The study took a comprehensive look at the project’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood and city. The issues experts looked at include: safety, biking, walking and public transit access, traffic operations, air quality, climate change, environmental justice, historic resources, noise, water quality, hazardous materials, and right of way, among others.

Working together, ODOT and the City of Portland have created multiple opportunities for the public to comment on the project. To make it easy for as many people as possible to comment, the agencies have also extended the public response period to 45 days. Normally public responses are only accepted for 30 days. The public comment period will close on Monday, April 1 at 5 p.m

The agencies will host community events during the public comment period, including an open house and a public hearing to provide opportunities for oral and written testimony. For those interested in learning more or commenting via the internet, an online open house will be available on the project’s website for the duration of the public comment period.

Ways to provide comment include:

  • Email – info@i5RoseQuarter.org
  • Mail – ODOT, Attn: Megan Channell 123 N.W. Flanders St. Portland, OR, 97209
  • Phone – Leave a recorded verbal comment at 503-423-3760
  • Drop-in Open House – Thursday March 7, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Leftbank Annex – Clubroom, 101 N. Weidler St., Portland
  • Public Hearing – Tuesday, March 12; sign up to speak 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event begins 5 p.m. with a presentation followed by public comment, Oregon Convention Center, Room A108, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland.
  • Online Open House – Friday, Feb. 15 through 5 p.m. Monday, April 1 at i5rosequarter.org

The environmental assessment found:

  • Improved safety for all transportation modes – New crossings over I-5, protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, improved striping and upgraded signals would mean safer local streets and new connections for everyone. On I-5, new shoulders would give disabled vehicles a way to get out of travel lanes and new ramp-to-ramp connections will mean less stop and go traffic, less emergency braking and more time and space for drivers to merge, which will reduce frequent crashes and improve travel times.
  • Improved air quality – The assessment modeled air pollutant emissions, which found that air quality would slightly improve with the project, as compared to not building the project. The estimated reduction in emissions caused by the project would likely be due to the higher speeds and less idling on the highway and reduced congestion from the project. Building the project “is not expected to cause air quality impacts nor contribute to cumulative effects on air quality beyond temporary construction effects, which would be addressed by requiring contractors to implement a variety of mitigation measures.”
  • Slightly decreased carbon emissions. As with the reduction in overall air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions would slightly reduce with the project, as compared to not building the project. Emissions would be slightly better with the project due to reduced congestion and fewer starts and stops within the project area. “Because greenhouse gas emissions have been identified as a primary cause of climate change effects, any potential decrease in these emissions would be expected to support emission-reduction efforts intended to reduce future climate-related impacts,’” the assessment found.
  • Benefits for communities – The assessment found that the project, as proposed, would improve access to public transit; improve mobility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders; and improve connections to areas east and west of I-5 provided by the new highway covers and the Clackamas bicycle/pedestrian overcrossing.
  • A proposed sound wall would reduce noise levels. A sound wall, recommended for the area between I-5 and Harriet Tubman Middle School, would reduce highway noise inside the school. “This would be a beneficial reduction in noise compared to existing noise levels at the school,” the environmental assessment found.

Over more than 10 years of project development, input has been received from many diverse stakeholders, including neighborhood, freight, bicycle, pedestrian, regional agencies and other community and local business groups through open houses, community forums and a community advisory group.

Following further public review on the environmental study, and pending the Federal Highway Administration’s decision, the next phase of the project will focus on completing engineering and design of the project elements. There will be continuing informational opportunities as the project progresses and ongoing engagement with stakeholder groups and the public throughout the current planning process and upcoming construction.

Printed copies of the environmental assessment also are available for public review at the following locations:

  • ODOT Region 1 – 123 N.W. Flanders St., Portland, Oregon 97209
  • FHWA Oregon Division – 530 Center St., N.E., Suite 420, Salem, OR 97301
  • Matt Dishman Community Center – 77 N.E. Knott St., Portland, OR 97212
  • Multnomah County Library Branches
    • Central: 801 S.W. 10th Ave.
    • North Portland: 512 N. Killingsworth St.
    • Albina: 3605 N.E. 15th Ave.

Request alternative formats at info@i5rosequarter.org

Read the full newsletter. 

I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project: Environmental Study Findings Update

Collage of public meetings

Over the past year, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the City of Portland, have been conducting an environmental study, also known as an Environmental Assessment, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The Environmental Assessment is a thorough, easy-to-understand report of the benefits and impacts of the project.

The Environmental Assessment will now be released in February 2019. This new release date will allow the team to complete the evaluation and make it reader-friendly to more easily facilitate community input.

Once the study is published, the public can review and comment on the study findings during a 30-day comment period. With the revised publication date, community members have additional time to review the project website and materials to learn more prior to the release of the study.

About the Project

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project was created with input from the local community, by the City of Portland and ODOT. It will improve both local streets and I-5 in the Rose Quarter area resulting in a more reliable, safe, and connected community that will keep people moving, whether you walk, bike, roll, drive, take transit, use local streets or the highway.

What’s included in the study?

Hand with book icon

The Environmental Assessment is a study that analyzes the benefits and impacts of the project before it is implemented. The study describes why the project is being proposed, what needs the project addresses, and examines the project’s potential social, economic and environmental impacts including:

  • Transportation
  • Air Quality
  • Climate Change
  • Noise
  • Archeological Resources
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Historic Resources
  • Land Use
  • Parking
  • Socioeconomics
  • Water Resource
  • Environmental Justice
  • Right of Way
  • Utilities

How can I review and provide feedback?

comment bubble icon

Over the years of project development, ODOT and its partners have received input from many diverse stakeholders, including neighborhood, freight, bicycle, pedestrian, regional agencies and other community groups through open houses, community forums and a community advisory group. Additional opportunities to learn more and comment during the public review period will be announced soon.

You can sign up on the project website to receive an email notification when the public review period begins. Ways to review the document and share input will include:

Icons and a list of ways of getting involved.

What is a formal “Environmental Assessment”?

Because the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project utilizes federal funding, it must follow the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. This process allows transportation officials to make project decisions that balance engineering and transportation needs with social, economic and natural environmental factors, such as noise, air quality and traffic patterns. During the process, a wide range of stakeholders, including the public, businesses, interest groups and agencies at all levels of government, provide input into project and environmental decisions.

The environmental study for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project is formally called an Environmental Assessment (EA). The intent is to ensure that the appropriate criteria and environmental factors are considered and made available for public input and comment during decision-making. The EA evaluates the benefits and impacts of two alternatives: one in which the project would move forward as planned, and one in which the project is not built. After the EA is formally submitted to FHWA, they will review it along with public comment prior to developing the NEPA decision document.

Download a factsheet about the environmental study process.

Read the full news release.

ODOT to Release Environmental Study Findings in February 2019 – November 29, 2019

Over the past year, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the City of Portland, have been conducting an environmental study, also known as an Environmental Assessment, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The Environmental Assessment is a thorough, easy-to-understand report of the benefits and impacts of the project.

Photo collage of people attending and participating in project meetings.

The Environmental Assessment will now be released in February 2019. This new release date will allow the team to complete the evaluation and make it reader-friendly to more easily facilitate community input.

Once the study is published, the public can review and comment on the study findings during a 30-day comment period. With the revised publication date, community members have additional time to review the project website and materials to learn more prior to the release of the study.

Read the full newsletter

Highway Covers: What Are They? – August 22, 2018

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project will complete some necessary safety improvements on I-5, which requires removing and rebuilding the bridges crossing over the highway. In the planning process the project team worked with the community on how these bridges could be rebuilt to help better connect the area. Highway covers provide a unique opportunity to make this happen.

Conceptual drawing of the new I-5 covers looking towards Mt. Hood.

But what are highway covers? These covers provide new public space by spanning over I-5 and concealing more of the highway. Roads, sidewalks and bike lanes go on top of the covers along with extra space for features such as landscaped areas for recreation, including a skate park or a playground; public art installations and displays that reflect the area’s history and culture, picnic tables or plazas for outdoor entertainment; or other options based on community input. They’ll also provide opportunities to better connect local streets and create a more cohesive neighborhood.

These new highway covers are still being designed and we are looking for more input from the community before ultimately deciding what will go on them.

What would you like to see on the highway covers? Find out more about highway covers and tell us what you would like to see on them.

Read the full newsletter

Connections for People Who Walk and Bike – July 18, 2018

Imagine a Rose Quarter area where people walking and biking can comfortably cross a bridge designed just for them; where getting from the Broadway Bridge to the Lloyd Center feels less daunting; where your daily commute on bike or foot is safe and reliable. This project creates new connections across I-5 and more space for people walking and biking, so everyone can travel more safely and conveniently through the Rose Quarter area.

Existing lanes along N Williams Ave.Conceptual design of future bus, bike and pedestrian lanes along N Williams Ave.

Several features of this project will help create a more comfortable travel experience for those who walk and bike in the Rose Quarter area.

  • A new bike- and pedestrian-only bridge over I-5, from NE Clackamas Street to N Ramsay Way, will improve access between popular destinations and encourage Portlanders to feel more comfortable traveling by bike or on foot.
  • New covers over the highway where bridges cross over I-5 will provide space for wide sidewalks, separated bike lanes and new community spaces.
  • A new crossing between N Hancock and N Dixon will include space for separated bicycle and pedestrian paths while improving east-west connections to the Lower Albina neighborhood.
  • New, upgraded pedestrian and bicycle paths in the area of Broadway/Weidler and Vancouver/Williams will make for safer, more comfortable travel in the area.

Learn more about how planned improvements can make biking and walking safer in the Rose Quarter area.

Read the full newsletter

Improving Travel For All in the Rose Quarter – June 15, 2018

Congestion on I-5 near exit 301.

Three Interstates (I-5, I-84, and I-405) intersect in the short distance between the Morrison Bridge and the Fremont Bridge in northeast Portland, creating the biggest bottleneck in the state of Oregon. The closely spaced interchanges and very narrow shoulders have resulted in this section of I-5 having the highest crash rate on an urban interstate in the state. By building new ramp-to-ramp connections and full shoulders, the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project can reduce frequent crashes in this area, improving safety and reliability for travelers.

Find out how these improvements can make your trip safer and more reliable.

Each month, we’ll be sharing up-to-date information on the project with you through this newsletter. Each newsletter will highlight a different element of the project, such as highway improvements, facilities for those who walk and bike, opportunities for covers over the highway and more. We’ll also keep you in the loop about upcoming events and other ways to get involved in the project.

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project was created by the local community, City of Portland and ODOT working together to plan for changes coming in the future of inner north and northeast Portland. By building new separated bike lanes and wider sidewalks, improving the highway and creating new roadway connections, the project will create a better connected community, a more reliable I-5 and support economic growth.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that I-5 in the Rose Quarter area had the highest crash rate in the state. It has been updated to clarify that I-5 in the Rose Quarter has the highest crash rate on an urban interstate in the state.

Read the full newsletter