A summary of all comments is available here. All attachments and additional information from the public comment period may be found in the resource library under I-205 Toll Project Reports and Resources.
Your comments and the technical analysis will help determine which toll alternatives to study in the next steps of the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process.
We have a congestion problem on I-205.
As the risks of COVID-19 are reduced, traffic congestion is returning. More cars driving in and through the Portland metro area makes our days more challenging and costs us time and money. Congestion is estimated to cost our region about $2 million per day as people spend their days stuck in traffic instead of doing the things they enjoy.
From 2015 through 2017, the number of congested hours each day increased by 13% on freeways in the Portland metro region, as demonstrated in the
2018 Traffic Performance Report. Moreover, it's expected to get worse. Metro's population forecasts estimate that by 2040 there will be a 35% increase in population and 1.8 million more vehicular trips per weekday traveling in or through the region. Before March 2020, about 100,000 vehicles traveled the section of I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213 on a typical day, causing over 6.5 hours of daily traffic congestion. .
Tolls are one tool we are using to improve our transportation system. Tolls can help manage congestion and provide a more reliable trip by encouraging drivers to consider other travel options or times of travel. If a small percentage of highway users choose another mode of travel or time of travel, traffic congestion is reduced for those who can't modify their trip.
This project would toll all lanes of I-205 on or near the Abernethy Bridge to both raise revenue and help manage congestion. This section is the only two-lane segment on I-205. Revenue generated by these tolls could help pay for I-205 Improvements between Stafford Road and Oregon Route 213 including the Abernethy Bridge seismic upgrade.
Learn about I-205 Improvements: Stafford Road to OR 213.
2018 Feasibility Analysis concludes that tolls could be effective to 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.
In 2018, 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 outlining the findings of the feasibility analysis and seeking approval to continue the process of implementing tolls on I-5 and I-205. In January 2019, FHWA provided guidance to move into the next phase of evaluation and study on tolls.
Start and end points for tolls along this corridor will be defined as part of the next phase of analysis and project development. This will include:
- An evaluation of options and end points of the toll area
- 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 the freeways will make bus service on the freeways a viable option to improve the currently limited public transportation options between West Linn, Oregon City and the I-5 corridor
- Consideration of equity and mobility strategies to ensure people of all demographics receive travel benefits.
A public comment period ended in fall 2020. The project team has summarized all the comments in a report
and will identify which alternatives to study in depth in early 2021. In 2022, the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with ODOT, is expected to decide which alternative to implement based on the analysis conducted, exisiting policy and guidance, and community and stakeholder feedback.
ODOT continues to seek extensive public and stakeholder involvement to inform an equity framework, project development, and community mobility and equity priorities.
Multiple strategies are underway to ensure the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT staff hear from community members in the Portland metro area including Southwest Washington before decision-making on selected alternatives for both I-205 and I-5, equity and mobility strategies and, in the future, toll policies and rates.
Planned strategies include:
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 engagement with both in-person events and online tools
- Briefings to and collaboration with existing regional policy groups (e.g. Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation)
- Technical work groups made up of regional staff to review methodologies and analytical results that incorporate stakeholder input
As the toll project moves forward, ODOT is offering live webinars and other digital opportunities to speak directly to the experts. Check the
project calendar or
sign up for project updates to find out about upcoming events. Recaps of all events will be posted online.
The process to implement a toll program requires substantial analysis, public input, construction, testing and driver education before the system can be operational.
Learn about the ongoing I-5 Toll Project.