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I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project

We are excited to share that we are hard at work getting the look and feel of our new brand ready -- a new look for a new direction in a new year!

Overview

I-5 is the main north-south route moving people and goods and connecting population centers across the West Coast of the United States from Mexico to Canada. In the Portland region between I-84 and I-405, I-5 is critical for truck freight and businesses moving goods, commuters traveling to and from Portland, and locals traveling within the region.

A sketch of the future I-5 highway cover, showing trees, cars, and people walking, rolling and biking on wide, protected paths 

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project will provide new local street connections and I-5 improvements that work together to create new community connections and a safer, more reliable I-5 that fosters economic growth. We aim to design with you in mind. We’d love to hear your feedback about what would improve your travel experience in the Rose Quarter area as local street improvement design progresses. Share your ideas by calling us at 503-470-3127 or emailing us at i5rosequarter@odot.oregon.gov.
Visual representation of the project schedule showing public outreach and engagment from 2010 through 2029.

History in Albina and Looking Forward

The first two decades of the federal interstate system construction displaced more than a million Americans. In the 1950s and 60s, this construction had a profoundly negative impact on communities of color.

A black and white photo of historica Albina looking at the old cupola from the Hill Block Building, constructed in 1910.
 
In Portland, generations of Black families in the Albina neighborhood are still haunted by the lasting impact of the loss of their homes, businesses, places of worship and social cohesion. The construction of I-5, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Blanchard Education Service Center and “urban renewal” divided and displaced communities in North and Northeast Portland leaving generational trauma in its wake.

Today, ODOT is determined to create a better future for Black Portlanders by weakening the barriers created by I-5's initial construction. The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project is expected to generate substantial opportunities for economic development and redevelopment in the Albina neighborhood. By adhering to project values that center the Black community, ODOT is determined to level up.

Project Values

  • Restorative Justice for the Albina Community to accelerate social, racial, and economic equity sustaining positive tangible change specifically for Portland's Black community.
  • Community Input & Transparent Decision-Making to have community-informed and involved decision-making through a community-connected, transparent and inclusionary process.
  • Mobility Focus to increase connectivity for the traveling public and local community.
  • Climate Action & Improved Public Health to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet local, regional, and statewide climate action goals.

Workforce and Business Opportunities

If "Lead Problem Solver" was a job title, Tayo Adesida would be at the head of its department. He’s technically a field engineer at Raimore Construction, but that’s just scratching the surface of what he does day-to-day. Tayo was born at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and raised in the Historic Albina neighborhood. You can read Tayo’s story here.

“All the things coming up around this project hit too close to home, literally. So it’s very important for me to do what I can and make sure we bring to fruition what this project means for Black people in the area.” 

Image of Tayo Adesida in a hard hat and construction vest.
Follow ODOT’s Urban Mobility Office on Twitter for new stories every Wednesday about the people who make this project possible. 

Did you know?

  • I-5 between I-84 and I-405 is the top traffic bottleneck in Oregon and the 28th worst bottleneck in the nation as of 2021.
  • This section of I-5 has 3.5 times more crashes than the statewide average and some of the highest traffic volumes in the State.
  • I-5 in the Rose Quarter has traffic congestion for 12 hours each day. As congestion and safety issues increase, travel on I-5 between I-84 and I-405 becomes less reliable for drivers and freight movement.
  • The highway lacks full shoulders in many spots, making it difficult to clear accidents and tough for emergency vehicles to respond quickly.
  • Some of the project area is challenging to navigate for people walking, rolling, and biking. Many of the local streets lack neighborhood connections and are undersized or incomplete.

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