Tag: I205

I84 Offramp Closed for Three Days Next Week

Next week, Interstate 84’s eastbound Exit 7 will close as TriMet crews pour concrete on a new light rail bridge over the Freeway. The Halsey St/NE 99th Ave offramp provides direct access to Gateway Shopping CenterGateway Transit Center, and two medical offices. The November 15th to 17th closure will also prevent quick access to NE Halsey street from I-84. Drivers should take Exit 6 towards Interstate 205 South and use the immediate Glisan Street exit. Then they must take NE Glisan Street east, using NE 99th or 102nd Avenues to drive north to their destination.


Montavilla News illustrations on a Portland Maps image

This midweek construction work supports the A Better Red project currently underway next to I-205. The closures of this I-84 offramp will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the shutdown, crews will continue building a new light-rail bridge over the Freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

TriMet advises that this work is weather dependent and could be postponed or extended. Check trimet.org/betterred/construction for updates to the schedule or to read more information about the project.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

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I84 Closure at I205 Starting Sept. 23rd

TriMet construction crews will close a 1.5-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in both directions near the Interstate 205 interchange this weekend. The closure will begin on Friday night at 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, barricades will block access to the NE 102nd Avenue on-ramp to I-84 west and the I-84 east Exit 7 Halsey/99nd Avenue off-ramp. This work supports the A Better Red project currently underway near the Gateway Transit Center.

The closures of I-84 will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the weekend shutdown, crews will continue building a new light rail bridge over the freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

Drivers expecting to use I-84 should plan an alternate route between the evening of September 23rd and the morning of September 26th. Commuters should also anticipate more congestion than usual on I-205 as people detour around the closure. Buses will run regular service while construction takes place and offer an effective alternate travel method during the closure. While the traffic disruption will not affect transit service, some trips may take longer due to other work on the MAX Blue Line in Gresham. Additional information is available on the TriMet website.

SE Washington I-205 Overpass Work

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is installing a new protective screening and new bridge railings on the SE Washington Street bridge over Interstate 205. Bridge screens are protective fences that improve safety on highways by preventing fallen and thrown objects from hitting vehicles passing below. This work is part of a larger project that includes installing new protective screening on twelve bridges over ODOT highways in the Portland area and new railings on four of the twelve bridges.

Crews began work in April and have completed work on SE Washington Street’s southern bridge railing. They removed the see-through three-bar steel bridge railing and replaced it with a solid concrete barrier topped with a single see-through steel rail. Work has now shifted to the other side of the street. Crews are actively replacing the railing on the northern portion of the overpass. Then workers will begin attaching screens extending several feet above the barrier on both sides of the overpass.

Crews will block one traffic lane adjacent to the work area during construction. Planners expect work to continue for two months and reduce automotive throughput to three lanes from four. ODOT cautions that the project schedule is subject to change. However, work is currently on schedule.

The twin overpass on SE Stark Street is not one of the twelve bridges selected for ODOT improvements at this time. However, it utilizes the older design that State transportation engineers are now replacing. Future funding will likely pay for upgrades to the SE Stark Street overpass, similar to what crews are installing on SE Washington Street.

Although these changes will have minimal impact on users of the overpass, future upgrades coming to the SE Stark Washington Streets couplet will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Look for this current work to continue into summer and use caution while driving on SE Washington. Expect more road work next year along both SE Stark and Washington Streets.

Completed south side bridge railing

Three Townhouses on SE 93rd

This week Sunstone Homes submitted permit applications to construct three townhouses near SE Division Street and Interstate 205. The proposed townhouses will each contain four bedrooms and an attached single-car garage. Demolition crews will remove the existing 1944-era single-family home at 2421 SE 93rd Avenue to make room for the new two-story units.

The 63-by-75-foot lot has enough room to comfortably support the proposed homes, each with 1500 square feet of living space. The designers will provide two full bathrooms and one half-bath for each townhouse. 

SE 93rd Avenue ends in a cul-de-sac near SE Division street, but pedestrians have access to the adjacent Division TriMet FX bus line. That express transit system starts service in September. Additionally, the I205 Multi-use-path is across the street from this property, making these homes the ideal location for commuters regardless of their chosen mode of transportation.

Over the last five years, this block has seen substantial redevelopment. The pandemic delayed some of the larger projects. However, this recent proposal indicates that this area will continue to develop with denser housing options. If approved, expect work to begin at the end of the year or sometime in 2023.

Federal Funds to Support SE Stark-Washington Improvements

Portland City Council voted Wednesday to accept approximately $17 million in federal grants distributed by Metro through the Regional Flexible Funding Allocation program. One of the four new capital projects funded will impact Montavilla on the SE Stark Washington couplet. Portland will spend $11.4 million on the project, improving road conditions for all modes of travel between SE 92nd and 109th avenues.

The road work spans a busy section of the paired streets that crossover I205 and connects Montavilla to the Gateway Regional Center. Some of the planned improvements include new transit islands and bus lanes, protected bike lanes, improved pedestrian crossings at existing signals, a new pedestrian crossing at SE 105th Avenue, new ADA curb ramps, and street lighting. Work will also resurface or repair pavement. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) believes this work will counter the historic auto-oriented street design at this location and reduce crashes in the area. Montavilla will receive only a tiny portion of the total improvements planned. However, the project will improve conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users traveling the neighborhood. 

SE Washington Street at I205 south on-ramp

PBOT has not yet created the final plans for this project. However, the proposal contains several illustrations demonstrating a rough outline of possible changes. During the project’s design phase, City engineers will likely need to adjust the placement and scale of these improvements. However, staff based the budget on including these features in the approximate locations indicated in the documents submitted to City Council.

PBOT illustrated view of street improvements

When completed, residents will see SE Stark street gaining protected bike lanes continuing west across the I205 overpass and ending at SE 92nd Avenue. Bike lane crossings and crosswalks will receive fresh high-visibility paint. Curbside parking will move further out into the street, allowing bikes to travel against the road’s edge behind a wide buffer of parked cars. Consequentially, the number 15 TriMet bus stop in front of Motel 6 will move onto a new transit island in line with the parked cars. This stop currently has a temporary bus platform that PBOT installed during the pandemic. Unlike the current design, the new island will allow bicycles to pass behind the bus stop and away from traffic.

Motel 6 number 15 bus stop and temporary platform

On Montavilla’s section of SE Washington Street, most work will focus on pavement repairs and some lane reconfiguration. PBOT intends to add a dedicated right turn lane for people merging onto I205 south. Crews will reconstruct and enlarge the corner adjacent to the turn lane to support pedestrians and bicycles. The new bike lane on SE Washington Street will place riders onto the sidewalk to cross at a more visible location.

Workers will install new bike signals with dedicated signage and upgrade the existing pedestrian signals. Drivers turning onto I205’s south on-ramp will have a new turn-only light with a “NO TURN ON RED” sign. Signalized intersections will receive new Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) equipment to manage traffic flow intelligently throughout the day.

Road improvements like this can take years to materialize after funding. Portland prioritized this project in the Growing Transit Communities Plan, adopted in 2017. Design work and property owner engagements will come in the next year. However, securing $5,332,000 in grant money for this work should move this project forward at an increased pace. Look for updates on the project in the coming year.

SE Stark Street showing current bike lane moving to the curbside

2040 Portland Freight Plan

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) staff are in the midst of updating the City’s Freight Master Plan adopted by the Portland City Council in 2006. The 2040 Portland Freight Plan seeks to create a strategic road map for investing in urban freight infrastructure in Portland. This update allows the city to rebalance the commercial demands on the roads with the City’s Vision Zero and environmental goals. PBOT created a survey for Portlanders to help identify intersections, streets, curbs, bridges, ramps, and neighborhoods where people experience urban freight-related safety and mobility concerns.

Montavilla is a neighborhood surrounded and bisected by urban freight movement. The I84 and I205 freeways create its north and east borders, while 82nd Avenue, NE Glisan Street, SE Start/Washington Streets, and SE Division Street all carry substantial commercial traffic through the community. Businesses and residents in the neighborhood can provide unique perspectives to the survey, helping PBOT meet its goal of creating a safe, equitable, efficient, and sustainable urban freight system.

Participating in the PBOT survey is the public’s best opportunity to shape the next 20 years of freight activity in Portland. The results from the PBOT survey, along with extensive reports and analyses, will form the final Plan. Other guidance will come from the 2040Freight Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and multiple supporting documents developed throughout the planning process.


Title image courtesy of PBOT

Expect Traffic Congestion this Weekend

Starting this Friday at 10 PM, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will close most of I84 between I5 and I205. This closure will extend throughout the weekend, potentially diverting increased traffic through Montavilla as motorists find alternative routes. Residents should plan ahead and allow for extra travel time over the next three days. Additionally, use caution on neighborhood roads as overflow traffic could travel via uncommon routes.

The rare I84 closure is necessary to allow construction cranes to lift the long span of a new bridge into place. After more than a year of construction, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Congressman Earl Blumenauer Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge is ready for the next phase of installation. Heavy-lift specialists will slowly maneuver the approximately 450,000 lb. and 400-foot-long bridge over Sullivan’s Gulch. Progress of the big lift project will be viewable online via a live web camera.

The closure begins tonight, Friday, October 8th, and continues until 5 AM Monday morning. Road crews will block all westbound I84 traffic starting at I205. In the other direction, crews will barricade I84 eastbound ramps from I5. The eastbound on-ramp from Northeast Grand Avenue is also closed. The on-ramp from Northeast 16th Avenue will periodically reopen to eastbound traffic during the weekend. However, drivers shouldn’t depend on its availability. On-ramps east of, and including Cesar Chavez Boulevard, will remain open.

Despite many public notices regarding the closure, some drivers are likely to be confused, creating traffic congestion around I84. If traveling this weekend, check TripCheck.com or mobile map apps for the latest conditions. Otherwise, this may be an excellent weekend to remain close to home or head out of town early.


I-84 eastbound

All I-84 eastbound lanes will close from I-5 to Cesar Chavez Boulevard, including:

  • The ramps to I-84 from northbound and southbound I-5.
  • The eastbound on-ramp from Northeast Grand Avenue, closing at 5 a.m. Friday.
  • The eastbound on-ramp from Northeast 16th Avenue, will periodically open.

The eastbound on-ramp from Cesar Chavez Boulevard will remain open. On-ramps east of Cesar Chavez Boulevard will also remain open.

I-84 westbound

All I-84 westbound lanes will close at Interstate 205 including:

  • The ramps from northbound and southbound I-205.
  • The on-ramp from Northeast Halsey Street, near 82nd Avenue.
  • The on-ramp from Northeast Glisan Street, near 58th Avenue
  • The on-ramp from Northeast Sandy Boulevard.
  • The on-ramp from Northeast 33rd Avenue.
  • The ramps to northbound and southbound I-5.

Portland’s Missing Freeway History

Montavilla is a neighborhood shaped by the freeways along two of its borders. These massive roadways seem permanent and inseparable from the city itself. However, a local documentary filmmaker has examined Portland’s history of removing freeways and abandoning expansion plans. A practice that leaves remnants of infrastructure all over the city, creating questions for those who did not live through those parts of Portland’s history.

The creator of these documentaries, Peter Dibble, looked to his interests when selecting projects. “I’m fascinated by transportation infrastructure and local history, so I guess it was inevitable that I would discover Portland’s colorful history of freeway projects. I couldn’t find any videos online that cover this really interesting history, so I took it upon myself to compile my research and make these stories accessible to a wider audience.”

Dibble’s professional background is in graphic design and motion graphics. He explained that documentary filmmaking is a relatively new pursuit for him. “I never actually put any serious thought into making documentaries until last summer.” Not all of Dibble’s projects focus on Portland. His other works look into railroad history and its forgotten technology. Regardless of the subject, each video features a polished storytelling skill and features impressive imagery that creates entertaining looks at history’s influence on our current infrastructure.

Dibble’s first video about Portland’s roadways, Remnants of Portland’s Unbuilt Freeways, took three months to put together. Following that success, he felt well equipped to produce the longer video about Harbor Drive, The Forgotten Story of Harbor Drive: Portland’s Demolished Freeway. That film required four months to complete. Each project required extensive research to knit together a story worth telling. “Some great information is readily available online, but I found myself digging deeper and trying to piece together how these individual projects were all related to each other.” Dibble’s explained that being employed full-time limits his ability to make videos as quickly or as often as he would like. “These projects are limited to the margins of my spare time. I’m also a big believer in ‘quality over quantity.'” With over 150 thousand views each, people enjoy the results of this filmmaker’s time-intensive process.

Many details uncovered through research don’t make it into the final product for the sake of keeping a steady pace and staying on topic. Some may end up becoming documentaries on their own, but others will always remain on the cutting-room floor. Dibble described one abandoned project from the late 1940s that is of interest but did not fit into the larger story. “Portland’s bridges were jammed like crazy with traffic. One of the proposed solutions was to completely remove all of the bridges and replace them with tunnels under the Willamette River. This never gained any serious traction as far as I could tell, but it’s fun to think about.” Another fascinating event from the 1950s also captivated Dibble during his research but failed to make it into either video. “When downtown was getting ready to switch over to one-way streets, this required the retirement of three streetcar lines. On the last night of service, Portlanders swarmed the historic streetcars and literally ripped them apart to keep pieces as souvenirs. The account of the events that night is so chaotic and entertaining.”

More Portland-themed documentaries are in the future for Peter Dibble. There are still many stories from Portland’s history that he would like to dig into. However, followers will need to wait as his process takes time. Subscribing to Peter Dibble‘s YouTube channel is the best way to stay updated on his current projects and show support.


Cover image curtesy of Portland City Archive

Public Trash Cans Coming to SE

This fall, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is installing 182 new public trash cans throughout Southeast Portland. The cans are emptied twice a week, paid for by the City. From now until August 1st, city staff requests that residents and people working in the area complete a can placement survey.

Last year, Montavilla News and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association conducted a similar survey. The results from that initiative are already submitted to BPS and do not require resubmittal. Data collected now will include areas beyond the neighborhood boundaries to encompass E Burnside Street to SE Clatsop Street and the Willamette River to I205.

Area receiving trash cans this fall

Within the brief survey, participants can drop multiple pins where they think BPS should place new cans. There is also an opportunity to ask for specific areas to be exempt from trash can placement and provide additional comments. When completing the survey, participants can choose to subscribe to a project-updates email list.

With a limited number of trash receptacles available for the Southeast, it’s essential to use local knowledge to place cans where they will receive the most use. Northeast Portland is slated as the next trash can expansion area, rolling out just a few months after Southeast. Look for a similar survey for that area later this summer.

Montavilla Neighborhood Association’s submitted can placement map

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board

Awkward Sidewalk Infill on SE Market

Crews recently installed new sidewalks on SE Market Street, creating a connected path for pedestrians. The project linked a patchwork of disconnected walkways from SE 92nd Ave to the I205 overpass. Many properties never had sidewalks, being constructed before that was required. Consequentially, the infill work often had to cut around fixed obstacles that were previously only in a yard.

On the south side of Market Street, a fire hydrant protrudes from the new sidewalk, creating an awkward path. A distracted pedestrian could easily collide with this cast iron pillar centered on the narrow walkway. A slight bulge in the pavement allows strollers and wheelchairs enough width to navigate around the hydrant. It is functional but not an ideal solution for the safe navigation of the street.

All other infill sidewalk sections carefully expanded the road’s edge, with modest intrusions onto residential poverties. Removal of a tree and shrubs occurred on a handful of properties to make room for the pavement. For the yards with a grade above the sidewalk level, crews created short retaining walls. 

Most pedestrians will appreciate these new sidewalks and the other improvements coming to Market Street. The slightly awkward path is better for pedestrians than being forced to walk on the street’s edge. Walking SE Market Street is significantly safer and accessible thanks to this work.