Economic opportunity: In the 1950s and 1960s, ODOT’s construction of I-5 divided and displaced the historic Albina community, specifically Portland’s Black community. We recognize that this action and other urban developments took generational wealth and opportunity in the Albina community. Other public agency and private developments, including the Moda Center, Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, the Convention Center, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and other urban renewal efforts also contributed to the historic harm. To address this, we are committed to elevating the voices of the historically harmed Albina community to understand the needs of and provide benefit to this community. We will identify, encourage and facilitate opportunities for agency and community partnerships. Together with agency and community partners, the project can support future economic development in the Albina community and support wealth generation through creating opportunities for partnerships around land banking, workforce and business development, and other means.
Community connections for the future: The project provides an opportunity to reconnect the community and support a sense of place and space consistent with local visions for transformation.
We are committed to building highway covers that bridge both sides of the I-5 corridor in this area and provide new community space. Only after hearing how the community envisions the look and feel of the highway covers and the streets and sidewalks to which they connect, the project will once again connect sections of this historic neighborhood and provide economic growth and development opportunities.
Our hope is that building highway covers will be a catalyst for us to work with other project partners to transform what exists today into a socially and economically inclusive community – one that is connected to the river and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Local street enhancements: Some of the existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the project area are undersized, incomplete, or challenging to navigate, such as crossing highway on- or off-ramps. Changes to the local street system will provide protected or separated sidewalks and bike lanes to create safe connections for people walking, rolling, bicycling, or riding transit in the Project area. New highway overcrossings, such as the Clackamas Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing, will provide additional options for people to comfortably cross I-5 where they cannot do so today, increasing options for people moving in and through Albina and the Rose Quarter.
Safety for pedestrians and bicyclists: For those who already – or those who want to – walk, bike, or roll in the project area, the new vision for local streets will increase physical separation between automobiles and pedestrians or people biking. The project will include new widened and well-lit sidewalks, Americans with Disabilities-accessible ramps, marked crosswalks, and widened and improved bicycle facilities that also provide more comfortable and convenient access to transit.
I-5 safety and congestion: The section of I-5 between I-84 and I-405 has the highest crash rate of any Oregon urban interstate. By providing new shoulders and continuous auxiliary lanes in both directions of I-5, the project will reduce motor vehicles weaving in and out of lanes and provide areas for disabled motor vehicles to pull over or emergency responders to get around heavy traffic. Auxiliary lanes and wider shoulders will reduce crashes by up to 50% and improve congestion and travel flow, saving drivers and those riding bus transit 2.5 million hours of delay each year.
Travel reliability: There is traffic congestion on I-5 in the Rose Quarter area for 12 hours each day. Increased congestion and safety issues on I-5 between I-84 and I-405 means drivers experience delay and travel is less reliable for most of the day. Project features will reduce the number of crashes and improve travel reliability for vehicles on I-5 and, in turn, vehicles on local streets affected by back-up on the Interstate. This also benefits the movement of goods, such as Oregon’s exports and imports, from groceries to technology.
Broadway/Weidler interchange operations: The complexity and congestion at the I-5 Broadway/Weidler interchange makes it challenging for automobiles, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists to get around. The project will simplify the interchange’s configuration, easing movement for all users and improving safety for our most vulnerable road users.