Project Status: Fall 2021
I-205 Toll Project will use variable-rate tolls on the Abernethy and Tualatin River Bridges to raise revenue to complete the
I-205 Improvements Project and manage congestion.
ODOT is moving forward with development of the
I-205 Toll Project Environmental Assessment. It will present an analysis of two alternatives: the Build Alternative (tolling) and the No Build Alternative. The Environmental Assessment will be available for public review and comment in spring 2022. Key activities in Fall 2021 include:
- Working with Metro to amending the
2018 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the 2021-2024 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program to add the preliminary engineering phase for the I-205 Toll Project and clarify financial connection of the I-205 Toll Project to the I-205 Improvement Project
- Gathering feedback from local residents, partner agencies, and businesses affected by tolling and potential rerouting
Conducting traffic and other studies to evaluate impacts of tolling
The I-205 Toll Project will use variable-rate tolls on the Abernethy and Tualatin River Bridges to raise revenue to complete the I-205 Improvements Project and manage congestion. Read the Purpose and Need Statement here.
By 2040, Portland area households will spend an average of 69 hours each year stuck in traffic without new transportation investments. Yet Oregon currently faces an annual shortfall of $510 million in its ability to adequately maintain bridges and pavement.
Tolling is needed to fix our transportation system.
Congestion pricing, a type of tolling, will bring more reliable trips and address congestion in the Portland metropolitan region, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The revenue from tolling will fund seismic, safety and bottleneck-relief projects, further contributing to regional congestion relief.
Tolling helps manage traffic congestion by encouraging drivers to consider other travel options or times of travel. Even a small decrease in the number of people trying to get on I-5 and I-205 will have travel time benefits for those who can't modify their trip.
The I-205 Toll Project would toll I-205 near the Abernethy and Tualatin River Bridges to raise revenue for construction of the planned I-205 Improvements Project and manage congestion between Stafford Road and Oregon Route 213 to give travelers a better and more reliable trip.
The first phase of the I-205 Improvements Project is the construction of the Abernethy Bridge. This will make the Abernethy Bridge the first earthquake-ready highway bridge across the Willamette River. These initial improvements, called Phase 1A and scheduled for construction in late spring/early summer 2022, will use financing tools recently approved by the Oregon Legislature.
Toll revenue is needed to complete construction of the remaining phases of the
I-205 Improvements Project, which will address the bottleneck caused by the last remaining two-lane section of I-205. Without tolls and future roadway upgrades, the almost seven hours of daily congestion and safety risks will continue to grow as more people use the highway. Diversion to local streets will also increase when the interstate has stop-and-go traffic.
ODOT has worked with the community since 2017 to design the project and received strong support to construct it. ODOT completed the environmental review of the I-205 Improvements Project in 2018. Construction is estimated to cost about $700 million. Over the past three years, ODOT explored state and federal funding sources and determined other funding sources are not available; toll revenue will be critical to completion of the I-205 Improvements Project.
Learn about I-205 Improvements: Stafford Road to OR 213.
- Generate revenue that will help pay for roadway improvements in the I-205 corridor
- Manage the more than 7 hours of daily congestion on this portion of I-205
- Improve travel time and increase reliability and efficiency for all I-205 users
- Reduce risk of rear-end crashes
- Reduce air pollution from idling vehicles in congested conditions and increase fuel efficiency with less stop and go traffic.
We are studying
two alternatives as part of the formal environmental review process. Four other alternatives were considered in 2020 and 2021 and found to provide fewer benefits. They were dropped from the analysis in the Environmental Assessment (Refer to the
I-205 Toll Project Comparison of Screening Alternatives Technical Report here).
Alternatives currently under review are:
The Build Alternative
Tolls on the Abernethy Bridge and Tualatin River Bridges
No Build Alternative
No toll would be applied.
Description of the two alternatives
The build alternative (known as Alternative 3 in the I-205 Toll Project Comparison of Screening Alternatives Technical Report here):
- Vehicles crossing I-205 bridges over the Tualatin River and the Willamette River would be tolled.
- Split toll amount between two locations.
- Through trip pays more than local access trip.
- The earliest tolling could begin at the end of 2024.
- Toll revenue is used to fund the I-205 improvements Project from OR 99E to OR 213 (Phase 1B), 10th Street to Sunset Bridge (Phase 1C), OR 43 to 10th Street (Phase 1D), and 10th Street to Stafford Road, including Tualatin River Bridge reconstruction (Phase 2).
- Variable-rate tolls used to manage congestion.
No Build Alternative: No toll would be applied to fund the I-205 Improvements Project or reduce congestion.
- Benefits would not be realized to help manage congestion or raise revenue for transportation projects.
While construction of Phase 1A of the I-205 Improvements Project will move forward independent of the I-205 Toll Project, other phases of the I-205 Improvements Project would remain unfunded.
We are in the environmental review phase, which began in Summer 2021. This phase includes:
- An assessment of the potential for additional diversion onto the surrounding street system, especially onto neighborhood streets designed for low speed, low volume conditions.
- An evaluation of existing transit during peak periods to accommodate any shift in travel modes.
- An assessment of whether improved reliability on I-205 will make bus service on the highway a viable option to improve the currently limited public transportation options between West Linn, Oregon City and the I-5 corridor.
- Evaluation of other potential benefits and impacts of the build alternative.
- Consideration of equity and mobility strategies to ensure people of all demographics receive travel benefits.
The project team has summarized all the public comments received in Summer-Fall 2020 in a report
and responded to the concerns, ideas and recommendations included in those comments. In 2022, the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with ODOT, is expected to decide whether to implement tolling based on the analysis conducted, existing policy and guidance, and community and stakeholder feedback.
How Electronic Tolling Works
2018 Feasibility Analysis concludes that tolls could manage congestion
Oregon's House Bill 2017, also known as Keep Oregon Moving, directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to develop a proposal for tolling on I-5 and I-205 to reduce congestion as part of a suite of transportation investments throughout the state for roadway improvements, transit service enhancements and bicycle and pedestrian safety upgrades. The OTC and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) conducted the Portland Metro Area Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis to study how and where tolls could be applied. Substantial public input and a Policy Advisory Committee informed the final recommendations.
In December of 2018, the OTC submitted a proposal to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) outlining the findings of the feasibility analysis and seeking approval to continue the process of implementing tolls on I-5 and I-205. FHWA provided guidance to move into the next phase of evaluation and study on tolls.
In 2020, stakeholders commented on the I-205 Toll Project and stated the need for a comprehensive approach to tolling, but expressed concerns about fairness, equity, climate and diversion. To address these concerns, we expanded our approach to consider regional tolling on I-5 and portions of I-205 not included in the I-205 Toll Project, consistent with the long-term vision of the identified in the Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis.
See more information on the Regional Mobility Pricing Project website.
Tolling on I-205 would consist of an all-electronic system that would automatically collect tolls from vehicles traveling across the Abernethy and Tualatin River Bridges. Drivers will not stop to pay a toll. A transponder, a small sticker placed on the windshield, is read and connected to a pre-paid account. If a vehicle doesn't have a transponder, a camera captures the car's license plate, and the registered owner is billed.
We want to hear from you
Your involvement helps us build a toll program that benefits the entire state and meets our collective needs. ODOT is actively seeking extensive public and stakeholder involvement to inform project development and prioritize community mobility and equity.
Multiple strategies are underway to ensure the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT staff hear from community members in the Portland metropolitan area, including Southwest Washington, before making decisions.
These strategies include:
- Collaboration with the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee
- Equitable and focused engagement with people who have been historically and are currently underrepresented and underserved or who have low incomes
- Broad public and community outreach using in-person events and online channels
- Briefings discussions with existing regional policy groups (for example, Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation)
- Seeking input from Technical work groups of partner agency staff on methodologies and analytical results that incorporate stakeholder input
As the I-205 Toll Project continues to move forward, ODOT will be offering digital opportunities to hear directly from the experts and provide valuable feedback.
Sign up for project updates to find out about upcoming events.
Tolls could begin on I-205 as early as late 2024. The process to implement a toll program requires substantial analysis, public input, construction, testing and driver education before the system can be operational. An Environmental Assessment for the I-205 Toll Project will be published for public review and comment in spring 2022.