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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