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Reports: Full Environmental Review Likely for Portland Freeway Widening Project

An initial environmental assessment for a project to widen I-5 in Portland claimed the project would improve air quality, congestion, and traffic safety. Critics of the project weren't convinced.
August 28, 2019, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Portland Interchange
Bob Pool

Nigel Jaquiss reports from Oregon, where the controversy over an environmental assessment of a proposed widening of Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter of Portland is continuing to draw attention.

The latest news details the current status of the environmental assessment as the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration consider whether to decide a "finding of no significant impact" of to order a full environmental impact study.

"Critics of the proposed $450 million-dollar expansion of Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter are convinced state transportation officials are prepared to conduct a full-blown environmental impact study for the project," according to Jaquiss.

Jaquiss lists organization opposing the projects, like Albina Vision and Portland Public Schools, which have voiced opposition to eh project at recent public hearings.

Jonathan Maus followed up on the scoop by Jaquiss by also reporting sources that indicate a full environmental impact statement is imminent.

The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project, as the project is called, gained national attention earlier this year when the initial environmental assessment promised benefits, like improved air quality, reduced congestion, and better traffic safety outcomes, that counter the majority of research about the outcomes of freeway expansion.

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