|ODOT and the Port are committed to developing a solution to the Airport Way interchange congestion problem. The problem-solving began by collaborating with community stakeholders and affected agencies to examine the extent of the interchange problem, identify key constraints and alternative solutions, and select which alternatives merit further consideration. Project partners studied the selected alternatives in a process required by the National Environmental Policy Act and then selected a locally preferred alternative. |
Project teams and committees:
- Public Involvement Team
The Public Involvement Team was comprised of staff from ODOT and the Port, and members of the consultant team. This team was responsible for planning and implementing public involvement and outreach with people who may be impacted by the problem and proposed solutions. This team coordinated online surveys, open houses, project newsletters and website, and stakeholder interviews, briefings and advisory committee meetings.
- Project Development Team
The Project Development Team was responsible for coordinating the project and finding consensus among partners on critical issues. The members of the Project Development Team represented the Port, ODOT, the City of Portland, Metro, Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and project staff.
- Stakeholder Advisory Committee
The role of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) was to advise the Project Development Team and Policy Group to ensure that the interests, issues, knowledge and recommendations of the local community were considered in project decisions. Committee participants also shared project information with their various constituencies. Look here for a list of the committee members, their affiliations, and meeting notes.
How the project was developed
Phase I -- Alternatives Development (Completed)
Step 1: Technical Analysis: Existing and Future Traffic Demands
The project team studied the current extent of the interchange congestion problem and will forecast what traffic will be like in 2028 in order to develop solutions that account for future regional growth. Step 2: Identify Stakeholders and Relevant Issues
This step, also known as “scoping,” involved the project team conducting an Issues Workshop with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, interviewing more than 30 potentially impacted individuals, hosting a public open house, and conducting an online survey. The project team used this information to develop a baseline understanding of the issues to be considered in the project analysis and to identify potentially affected individuals and groups whose opinions should be taken into account. Step 3: Develop Criteria to Evaluate Alternative Solutions
The project team developed evaluation criteria to evaluate and compare alternative solutions. The criteria are based on the project Goals and Objectives— desirable project outcomes that are derived from issues identified by the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and members of the public via interviews, an open house and an online surveys. Step 4: Develop Alternative Solutions
For this step, the project team held a three-day Value Planning Workshop in July 2008 with representatives from ODOT, the Port of Portland, WSDOT, Metro, FHWA, City of Portland, transportation engineers and planners, and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. During the workshop, participants brainstormed 65 solutions
to improve the flow of Airport Way traffic accessing I-205 north at the Airport Way interchange. After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, workshop participants identified 22 solutions, including three non-engineered actions (Traffic Demand Management, improvement to public transportation and land use management) to advance to the next evaluation process (Step 5). Step 5: Evaluate Range of Solutions
In August 2008, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Project Development Team began a qualitative evaluation of the 19 engineered alternatives based on the criteria that reflect the project Goals and Objectives. Most of the 19 alternatives are not stand-alone solutions, and in many cases, compliment one another in addressing the project’s three identified key constraints
. As a result, proposed solutions have been combined into ten (10) “alternative packages
,” each of which may be combined with any of the three non-engineering solutions. Of the ten alternative packages, five (1, 2, 3 4 and 6) appear to perform the best based on evaluation criteria
. Members of the public were invited to review and comment on the 10 alternative packages and evaluation process at open houses and online surveys. Step 6: Narrow Alternatives
After considering public comment from the online survey, open house and stakeholder briefings, and evaluation results, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Project Development Team will select up to five alternative packages that most adequately address the project’s core purpose and need. The project team will conduct traffic modeling, visual simulations and quantitative evaluations for these selected alternatives.
Phase II -- Environmental Analysis and Selection of Preferred Alternative (Completed)
The Project Development Team thoroughly studied the likely effects that each alternative would have on the natural and built environment. ODOT published the results of this analysis, encouraged public input, and selected the preferred alternative in conjunction with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and the Port.
The selected improvement will create a new free-flowing, right-turn ramp from westbound Airport Way to northbound I-205. As a result, eastbound drivers turning left to I-205 north at the intersection will have two turn lanes and no longer will have to share signal time with westbound to northbound right-turning vehicles. This will reduce the traffic queue from right-turning traffic that regularly blocks left-turning vehicles from entering the northbound ramp.
to view the Preferred Alternative.
Phase III and IV -- Complete design work for Preferred Alternative (Complete)
Phase V -- Construction (starting in early 2013)
Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.