Saturday, April 1, 2023
April 1, 2023

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Letter: Consider I-5 options


Now that the Interstate 5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project seems to be stalled by opposition to it, maybe it is time to consider an alternative plan. Here is one: Build a viaduct, (like a bridge, an upper road), above I-5 through the congested area between I-405 and I-84 in Portland. Make it the same number of lanes as there are now, for through-traffic only, with on- and offramps only at both ends. This would increase traffic flow without all the other disruptions and problems that people in that area are against.

Also when the new I-5 Columbia River bridge is built, leave the existing bridges in place and keep using them, with rebuilding any parts that need it, like possibly the lifting mechanisms. Make freeway-type on- and offramps on the Oregon side to move the traffic better to and from Highway 99E and East and West Marine Drive. By using rapid transit buses instead of light rail, the I-5 Bridge can be steeper and shorter. I am not in favor of light rail, but build the new bridge so light rail can later be put on the newer, southbound, existing bridge, or on the railroad bridge a mile down river from I-5. Hopefully, an easier, cheaper, and less disruptive alternative plan like this can get the two projects moving before the traffic congestion gets much worse and the price higher.

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