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Rose Quarter Improvements Coming
Auxiliary lanes are projects to improve the burdened interchange

With all the transportation infrastructure projects going on all the time, it's good to see one that's specifically dedicated to improving traffic flow, safety and congestion. The Rose Quarter Improvement Project, part of HB 2017 -- the transportation package passed in 2017, promises just that.

According to ODOT's description of the project, the new auxiliary lanes will connect on-ramps directly to the next off-ramp on I-5. As an example, about 99 percent of the vehicles that merge onto I-5 heading south from the Fremont Bridge (I-405) during the evening peak hour period are exiting at the three exits within the Project area – the Broadway, I-84 and Morrison Bridge exits. The addition of an auxiliary lane will allow drivers to make these trips without merging into the two through lanes on I-5 before exiting. This will reduce rear-end and sideswipe crashes, both of which are major causes of delay.

Adding safety shoulders will also help reduce the number of sideswipe and rear-end crashes and reduce delays caused by those crashes. The new shoulders will also provide a place for vehicles in crashes to move safely off the roadway and safer and quicker access for emergency service vehicles to reach emergencies within or beyond the Rose Quarter area.

The project schedule spans about a decade, with about half of that being design, planning and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The Project’s assumed multimodal improvements will provide enhanced separation for pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicles on the local street network. The Project assumes new multiuse paths and a pedestrian-and-bicycle-only bridge across I-5 connecting NE Clackamas Street and the Rose Quarter entertainment area.

The project is going to be pricey. With inflation factored in, the total price tag could come close to $800 million dollars.

Year of DollarsPreliminary Cost Estimate (2017)Base Estimate Range (2025)
TOTAL$450 - $500 million$715 to $795 million
INFLATION$0$130 million to $147 million
RIGHT-OF-WAY$6 million$42 to $52.3 million
PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING$64 to $71 million$74.2 to $81 million
CONSTRUCTION$380 to $423 million$461.2 to $507.1 million

Even though much of the project is targeting vehicle traffic, ODOT notes that some of the existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the Project area expose users to navigational challenges, such as crossing freeway on- or off-ramps. Changes to the local street system and the addition of highway covers will reduce conflict points between vehicles and pedestrians, people riding bicycles, or people rolling in the Project area. Changes to overcrossings will enhance walking and bicycling comfort.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-10-08 11:10:24Last Update: 2020-10-07 21:24:42

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