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.
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.
Starting June 22nd, TriMet crews will close a segment of westbound Interstate 84 overnight to support work on the A Better Red project underway near the Gateway Transit Center. Each night the roadway will close to vehicles from 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. The evening work will continue through June 30th, with a full weekend closure from the 24th to the 27th. People driving west on I-84 are advised to take southbound Interstate 205 as an alternate route. Drivers can merge back onto I-84 past the Gateway area.
The two-mile closures of I-84 west, near I-205, will facilitate further construction of a new MAX light rail bridge. During the weekend shutdown, crews will drill a 102-foot-deep shaft next to I-84, providing access to a stable anchor point for the bridge’s foundation. The column constructed on the new foundation is a critical support structure for the 500-foot span. Two construction cranes and other heavy equipment are already on-site and positioned to aid workers with their activities planned for the end of the month.
Once completed, the bridge will add another set of tracks to carry MAX Red Line trains through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. A new multi-use path leading to the Gateway Green Park is planned for the bridge, alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the park more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.
People interested in knowing more about TriMet’s A Better Red project can attend the June 13th Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting at 6:30 p.m. At that event, Trimet’s Community Affairs Coordinator, Libby Winter, will present information regarding the light rail project and related construction closures. Additionally, people can subscribe to email updates regarding the project at trimet.org/betterred.
TriMet encourages motorists to plan an alternate route in advance of the work and expect traffic to be heavier than usual during the closures. Transit staff do not anticipate bus and MAX service disruption during this work. As the dates get closer, users of this section of westbound I-84 should check the TriMet project website for updates and changes.
Weekday overnight closures
10 p.m. Wednesday June, 22 to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 23.
Starting May 8th, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 84 East Halsey/99th Ave off-ramp. This temporary closure allows TriMet construction crews the needed workspace to install support piers for a new MAX bridge over the freeway. Project managers expect to reopen Exit 7 to eastbound I-84 drivers on June 24th, 2022.
Work performed over the next two months will create the support structure for a new MAX Red Line bridge over I-84, located just east of Interstate 205. The bridge will provide pedestrian and bike access to the Gateway Green park and add a second track to the single-track rail system in the area. This project is part of the TriMet Better Red initiative to extend the MAX Red Line westward to serve ten more stations. Additionally, crews will install bidirectional rails in places with share tracks, speeding up the whole system.
TriMet suggests a detour onto Exit 6 towards I-205 South during the off-ramp closure and then use the Glisan Street/Stark Street exit. Drivers will follow NE Glisan east to NE 99th Avenue. Plan accordingly for this closure by using the ODOT TripCheck.com website for route information and updates. Better Red crews will continue their work in the area until its completion in 2024.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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