Design & Construction

Project Status

The US Department of Transportation announced March 9 that ODOT's I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project is the recipient of its Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant in the amount of $450 million. The grant award will go toward finishing design and constructing the core part of the project's highway cover to support community reconnection, new community space, and future development opportunities for the Albina community, making it the first federal investment in construction for this project.

The immediate next step will be for ODOT to work with US Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) over the next few months to develop a formal grant agreement. The grant agreement will define the specific scope of work and delivery schedule supported by the awarded funding. More information on the specifics of the grant and the project schedule will follow finalization of a grant agreement.


On June 26, 2023, ODOT released a draft Urban Mobility Strategy Finance Plan. The finance plan confirmed funding for completing the environmental review process and design for Early Work Packages A and B, advancing Early Work Package C toward final design, and advancing the Main Construction Package toward 30% design. ODOT recently secured $450 million in additional federal funding, which will go toward finishing design and constructing the core part of the project's highway cover to support community connection, new community space, and future development opportunities for the Albina community. ODOT continues to actively apply for federal grants and pursue other funding opportunities to fully complete the project. 

What will be built on top of the highway cover will be determined through a public process in partnership with the City of Portland and ODOT. The process includes the development of preferred opening-day and longer-term development concepts, street and path design, and options for governance and financing, followed by the formation of a Community Framework Agreement to guide future development of the highway cover. The process of designing the highway cover uses will continue to seek input from the Black and historic Albina community through guidance from the project’s Historic Albina Advisory Board (HAAB).  

In partnership with the City of Portland, the HAAB and other key community partners, the project team made design refinements addressing public comments received during the Supplemental Environmental Assessment public comment period from November 15, 2022, to January 4, 2023. In March 2024, the FHWA reviewed the Project’s Revised Supplemental Environmental Assessment and determined the Project would have no significant impact on the natural or human environment. FHWA’s decision is formalized in a Finding of No Significant Impact. This decision means ODOT has federal approval to proceed with the project and can continue moving forward with more detailed project design and construction. 


Existing and Proposed Highway Width

The 1.8-mile stretch of I-5 within the project area has the highest crash rate on any urban interstate in Oregon and is the state's top traffic bottleneck. ODOT manages the transportation system, and sometimes widening shoulders or adding ramp-to-ramp auxiliary lanes are tools to improve the safety and efficiency of our highways. 

There are sections of I-5 where the width of the highway will change from current conditions to improve travel safety and reduce congestion – some sections will become wider, some will stay the same, and some will become narrower. Ramp-to-ramp connections (auxiliary lanes) and standard-sized shoulders will be added, where applicable. Though ODOT will be adding auxiliary lanes, the project will not be adding additional through lanes to the corridor; there will still be two through lanes in each direction north and south of the project area. Auxiliary lanes provide drivers more time to merge, improving mobility while reducing crashes. Wider shoulders provide space for disabled vehicles to clear the highway safely and give emergency service vehicles quicker access to incidents within and beyond Rose Quarter. In total, improvements are projected to reduce crashes by up to 50% and save drivers nearly 2.5 million hours of travel time a year.

The graphic below shows expected changes in width at multiple locations throughout the project area.

Click here to learn more about changes in highway width and view a larger version of the graphic below.

Will Changes in Highway Width Affect Property Owners?

ODOT owns most of the land needed to expand the highway at locations where widening is required. There are five affected private properties that will likely be needed for purposes of construction. ODOT would purchase these properties from the owners and any affected businesses would be fully compensated and relocated under the federal Uniform Act. None of these properties are minority owned and no homes would be impacted. Additionally, there are eight “Personal Property-Only” displacements that will be required. These are considered moveable objects not affixed to any property such as a sign, billboard, dumpster, etc. ODOT continues to coordinate with all affected property owners.

Click here to view a larger version of the graphic below.

Design Activities


  • The FHWA reviewed the Project’s Revised Supplemental Environmental Assessment (RSEA) and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, concluding the Federal Environmental Review process. This decision means ODOT has federal approval to proceed with the project and can continue moving forward with more detailed project design and construction.  
  • The project design in the RSEA is the result of community feedback and upholding the project’s values. The current Project design features a single and more substantial highway cover capable of supporting development (with up to 3-story buildings on top), reconnects and improves local streets, and implements critical mobility and safety improvements to the I-5 mainline highway. This design improves walking, biking, and rolling safety; reduces car and transit delays; and supports redevelopment opportunities for the Albina Community. 


The Historic Albina Advisory Board is helping guide the highway cover design process and community priorities for the project. 


  • The project team conducted two online Design Elements Surveys. The first survey asked for community input on the aesthetic design of highway crash barriers and columns in the project area. The second survey gathered similar feedback on two highly visible walls and six bridge locations in the project area.
  • ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration published the Supplemental Environmental Assessment document, which looked at how the project’s design changes resulting from the Independent Cover Assessment would benefit and impact the social, economic and physical environment. Read the Environmental Review Process fact sheet for a full history of this process. 


  • The Independent Cover Assessment, which looked at multiple highway cover design options, concluded. The independent consulting team published a report of their findings, prompting ODOT to make design changes and FHWA to withdraw the Finding of No Significant Impact for the project in early 2022.  


  • ODOT and FHWA prepared a Revised Environmental Assessment that responded to public and agency comments on the 2019 Environmental Assessment. FHWA then issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project. 
  • The Historic Albina Advisory Board was formed to ensure community perspectives were central to the project’s design.  


  • The project team studied and published an Environmental Assessment for the project, comparing the effects of building a project with the effects of not building a project. 


Hamilton/Sundt, a Joint Venture (HSJV), in association with Raimore Construction, is the project’s Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC). HSJV’s planned construction work is broken down into three Early Work Packages, or EWPs (EWPs A, B and C) and one Main Construction Package. The construction schedule will be determined by design refinements and the associated environmental analysis, as well as the availability of construction funding. 

Multiple sources of funding are anticipated for project construction, including: 

  • grant funding 
  • Oregon House Bill 2017
  • net revenues from the Oregon Toll Program, including the Regional Mobility Pricing Project
  • other federal, state, regional and local sources

Pre-Construction Activities