The I-5 Widening Project Needs Your Voice!

By Joshua Baker

As you may know, ODOT is planning to widen the I-5 corridor through the Lloyd Interchanges in the Rose Quarter and part of that project includes community engagement about the effects, good or ill, to the surrounding neighborhoods, including a discussion of the scope and extent of freeway caps or covers. These covers would knit together portions of the Historic Lower Albina neighborhood (which is within the boundary of the Lloyd neighborhood) by connecting the streets which are now freeway canyons. Those covers would be on NE Clackamas Street and possibly others along the corridor within the Albina area (see map for a representation of where this work will be).

The Independent Cover Assessment is a newly convened group of civic and Black community leaders brought together by ODOT’s design and engineering team “which seeks to understand how highway covers can catalyze a community’s vision to regenerate a neighborhood providing restorative justice to the Black Historic Albina community”. The decisions made within this process seek four things: 1) restorative Justice, 2) community input and transparent decision making, 3) mobility focus, and 4) climate action and improved public health.

I am part of this cover assessment group, and so honored to be a part of the conversation. Hats off to ZGF, Jeana Wooley, and all the partners who are doing a fantastic job coordinating this virtual group and gathering input. This is where YOU come in. They are also seeking input from the larger community and I strongly, heartily encourage you to participate in the short online Open House/Survey (closes March 12th). This is the first of three open houses; please check out the link and participate in all three!