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I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project Reaches Significant Milestone with Approval from City of Portland

PORTLAND, OR — The Portland City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to re-engage as a partner in the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. An intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) moves the project forward and outlines the terms of the city staff’s planning and engineering involvement.

This significant milestone ensures the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project supports the city’s redevelopment goals for the area, and further advances the project.

“The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement project will deliver a safer, more reliable I-5 that supports our local, state, and regional economies and gives people more options for getting around in their communities,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “We look forward to working with the city of Portland and other stakeholders to advance this important project.”

Last fall, the Historic Albina Advisory Board (HAAB) — which elevates voices in the Black community to ensure the project reflects community interests and values — advanced the “Hybrid 3” option for a highway cover design concept that reconnects the east and west sides of I-5 in the historic Albina neighborhood. This design concept is a community-supported vision developed through the Independent Highway Cover Assessment work.

“This cover provides an opportunity for significant future investment in the community, and perhaps most significantly, in the people who are helping build this project,” HAAB members wrote in a letter to the city council in support of the agreement. “Not only will the project substantially improve safety on I-5 between I-84 and I-405 but it also promises significant opportunities for jobs and economic development benefiting Black Portlanders — the community most impacted by the original construction of the interstate.”

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Albina Vision Trust Executive Director Winta Yohannes also testified in support of the agreement during a June 22 council hearing. “The aims of the Albina Vision Trust for this project have always been really clear and really consistent,” Yohannes said. “We believe that transportation should heal and connect, that children should be safe in the city core, that the urban fabric should be repaired, stolen wealth should be restored, and we need to build for the future and we need to do that collectively."

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