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I5: South Jefferson to U.S. 20 Environmental Assessment: Overview
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Current Status

To improve operational conditions and enhance safety on I-5 accordingly (see Purpose and Need), ODOT and the community Stakeholder Advisory Team (SAT) considered a range of remedies for current and anticipated future traffic needs in the study area. Community members also participated in this process through open houses, neighborhood meetings and presentations to area boards and commissions.

In October 2011, the Project Development Team (PDT) recommended a build alternative (and a number of design options) to be analyzed in detail. Also in October 2011, the SAT confirmed the PDT’s recommendation on the build alternative.  ODOT returned to the PDT in June and October 2013 for final recommendations on the design of the build alternative. The PDT recommended dismissal of design options for the build alternative that had higher relative environmental impacts, costs, and/or less favorable traffic characteristics.

ODOT will be coming back to the SAT in fall,  2013 for confirmation of final recommendations on the design of the build alternative. Once the build alternative design has been finalized, ODOT will complete the Technical Reports on the potential impacts of the build alternative and publish the results in the Environmental Assessment.

The Environmental Assessment will summarize analysis of the potential impacts of the build alternative on the natural and human environment. The Environmental Assessment will be available for public review and comment in early 2014. In addition, ODOT will hold a series of open houses, neighborhood meetings, and presentations in Spring and Summer 2014 to solicit public input on the build alternative. During this review process, ODOT will examine ways that potential impacts of the build alternative may be avoided or minimized.
Overview
We will develop and evaluate ways to address problems and improve accessibility, mobility and safety on a six-mile stretch of I-5 in northern Linn County, Oregon. The project area is located between the South Jefferson (mile post 239) and U.S. 20 (mile post 233) interchanges.
 
The South Jefferson, View Crest, Murder Creek, Knox Butte, and U.S. 20 interchanges serve Millersburg and Albany. This section of interchanges and interstate does not function well, which creates travel delays on I-5 and affects access to businesses and homes in the area. We expect these transportation problems to get worse in the future as the region continues to grow. 
 
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Linn County and the cities of Albany and Millersburg assist us in a joint effort to improve this section of I-5 and the associated interchanges. This project will guide transportation construction within this specific section of I-5 over the next 20 years.
 
The environmental assessment is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We will request federal money to fund construction projects on this section of I-5. Through the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal government requires a detailed evaluation of a federally funded project’s potential environmental impacts before any construction can occur.
  
Earlier work, including the Albany and Millersburg I-5 corridor refinement plans, will inform this project’s development and evaluation of alternatives. The Albany and Millersburg I-5 corridor refinement plans identify current and future problems at the I-5 interchanges that serve northern Linn County, Millersburg and Albany. You can find these plans in the project library.
 
The City of Albany’s Transportation System Plan (TSP) was adopted in 2010. The project team will work towards design solutions that are consistent with the adopted TSP.