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We want to hear your thoughts on the I‑205 Toll Project at this early phase. Review the information in the following stations, then take our survey and give your ideas. The survey will be open through October 16, 2020.
Attend one of three community webinars in August to learn about the project, ask questions and give comments to the project team. All three webinars will cover the same topics.Webinar 1
Social distancing guidelines make it hard for us to connect in-person with family and friends, and travel is difficult.
We don’t know how long this uncertainty will last, but we expect previous levels of congestion will return to Portland. When that occurs, our transportation system needs to serve the people and economy of Oregon.
By charging higher tolls when the most people want to drive, drivers who have flexibility in their schedules are more likely to adjust their travel and free up highway space for those who need it most. Even a small shift in the total number of drivers makes travel more efficient and optimizes our shared highway space.
The Oregon Legislature passed “Keep Oregon Moving” in 2017 to help manage traffic congestion and its impacts. The legislation directed the Oregon Transportation Commission to pursue tolls on interstates in the Portland metro area to improve the transportation system. Revenue from tolls could fund some of these improvements.
In 2017 and 2018, we conducted a toll feasibility study, known as the Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis. This work involved substantial input from regional stakeholders, agency partners, and the public to explore how tolls could manage traffic congestion in the Portland metro area. Together we considered several big concepts for introducing tolls on I-5 and I-205.
This analysis determined that tolls could help us manage congestion.
Using public input and the technical analysis, the Oregon Transportation Commission concluded:
Learn more about the results of the Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis.
Before COVID-19 restrictions, about 100,000 vehicles traveled the section of I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213 every day, causing over six hours of congestion. This section is the only two-lane segment on I-205 in Oregon.
ODOT plans to add a third lane in each direction and make the Abernethy Bridge seismically resilient, but construction funding is not available. Toll revenue could help pay for these improvements.
See the project website for more information about the I-205 Improvements from Stafford Rd to OR 213 project.
We are looking at tolls on all lanes and in both directions on I-205, on or near the Abernethy Bridge. Toll rates would vary by time of day, with higher tolls during peak demand periods and lower tolls during times with less demand.
Options for where tolls would start and stop is what we are studying now. The map below shows the general area where tolls could help raise revenue and manage congestion.
Right now, we are beginning the federally-required environmental review process for the I-205 Toll Project. It will involve lots of public feedback to ensure we develop the best toll project possible.
The environmental review process has many steps. Visit the next stations to learn more about where we are right now, what we’re doing, and how you can get involved.
Learn more by visiting the I-205 Toll Project website.
Throughout this project, we’re collaborating with community partners to develop equitable solutions for traffic congestion and tolling. Our goal is to create better solutions for historically and currently underrepresented and underserved communities, including youth, older adults, Black, Indigenous, multi-racial, and people of color, people who may speak a language other than English, and people with disabilities.
The toll projects’ draft equity framework will guide everything from technical analysis to public engagement strategies. If you'd like more information about our goals and how this is developing, you can review our Toll Projects' draft equity framework.
So far on the I-205 Toll Project, we have:
To ensure equitable I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects and processes, and to help develop a framework, ODOT convened an Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee. This committee is a group of individuals with professional or lived experience in equity and mobility. They will advise the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT throughout the environmental review process. They will help us understand how tolls on I-205 and I-5 freeways, in combination with other demand management strategies, can include benefits for populations that are (historically and currently) underrepresented or underserved by transportation projects.
In providing input to the Oregon Transportation Commission, the committee shall consider needs and opportunities for achieving community mobility while prioritizing equity as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process for introducing tolls.
Members of the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee will advise us throughout the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects and help us consider ways we can prioritize equity
Learn more about the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects' Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee.
For the I-205 Toll Project National Environmental Policy Act process, we’ll conduct an environmental assessment to study impacts from the project. The environmental review process will also help us examine how strategies for completing this project would meet (or won’t meet) the project’s stated purpose.
We want to involve you at the beginning of the process so you can let us know if we’re on the right track.
We expect the process will take two years to complete. The Federal Highway Administration will review the Environmental Assessment and decide to approve the project.
At this stage, we need your help defining the project’s Purpose and Need and goals. We also want to make sure our approach to conducting the analysis is thorough. This important early work will influence the rest of the environmental process. Learn more about these components below.
The Purpose and Need and the project goals documents will guide parts of the environmental review. These concepts are in draft form right now. We want your help to make them comprehensive and inclusive.
The purpose of the I-205 Toll Project is to manage congestion on I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213 and raise revenue to fund congestion relief projects through the application of variable-rate tolls.
The five statements below sum up why introducing tolls on I-205 is an important tool in our congestion relief strategy:
The goals describe desirable outcomes that we’d like to see. We developed draft goals through conversations during the Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis work, and by engaging partners, staff, and the public.
Draft goals we’re considering include:
If you’d like additional information about the project's draft goals and objectives, you can review the full draft I-205 Toll Project Purpose and Need Statement.
Visit our survey to let us know what you think of the above ideas.
For I‑205, the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Policy Advisory Committee decided that tolls at or near the Abernethy Bridge was the best concept to study further. However, there are several ways to implement tolls in this location. The alternative analysis in the environmental review will help us figure out which option will work best.
We are evaluating five alternatives along I‑205 where tolls could start and stop – and how they could manage congestion and pay for roadway improvements along the corridor.
Studying alternatives is an important part of the environmental review process. We’ll examine different toll alternatives, as well as an alternative considering what would happen if we don’t toll and don’t construct the I‑205 Improvements Stafford Road to OR 213 Project.
At the end of the process, we’ll identify the alternative that best meets the purpose and need and goals of this project. But first we need to narrow down which alternatives are worth looking at in more detail.
We started by looking at the five alternatives highlighted below. All of the below alternatives assume that toll rates would be set to generate net toll revenues sufficient to fund:
|Alternative 1: Toll on the Abernethy Bridge||
|Alternative 2: Toll the Abernethy Bridge, with tolling gantries off bridge||
|Alternative 3: Individually toll multiple bridges to be rebuilt||
|Alternative 4: Segment-based tolls - Stafford Road to OR 213||
|Alternative 5: Single zone toll - Stafford Road to OR 213||
Over the last few months, we’ve been figuring out how to turn the big, broad concept of tolling into a few specific alternatives. We developed five alternatives, then scored each against one another using five criteria. These screening criteria included impacts to:
To get a sense of which alternatives were best, we looked at each one and assigned it scores for the above criteria. We scored on a scale of "much worse" to "much better" compared to other alternatives.
The results of this scoring are included below. Click through each of the five alternatives to learn more about what each one looked like and how it scored in our initial assessment:
If you'd like to see details of the analysis, please review the following I-205 Toll Project documents:
After our assessment, Alternative 3 and Alternative 4 seem to be the best alternatives to meet the project's purpose and need and goals.
While both alternatives would result in some vehicles avoiding tolls by diverting to local streets, these are expected to be distributed along the I-205 corridor more evenly so no single area would receive a bigger impact. Also, both alternatives can be scaled to manage congestion on other regional highways.
We recognize this screening analysis does not answer all your questions about how you could be impacted by I‑205 tolls. The environmental review process will continue to study the alternatives we carry forward in more detail. This comprehensive analysis will look at how tolling would impact transportation, equity, the environment, and the economy.
What do you think about our work so far? Do you think we selected the two best alternatives for further study? Visit our survey in the next station and let us know if you have ideas or if you think we missed anything.
Attend one of three community webinars in August to learn about the project, ask questions and give comments to the project team. All three webinars will cover the same topics.
The environmental review process for the I-205 Toll Project will continue into 2022 as we carry on refining alternatives. Tolls could begin on I-205 as early as 2024.
We’re going to take the ideas you shared and consider them in addition to our technical analyses. We expect to come back to you early next year to share our progress on the environmental assessment and hear more from you.
The I-5 Toll Project is moving forward as well. We are currently in the early planning phases for this work. As we make progress, we will want to hear your ideas on that project too. Watch for additional updates in the coming months, and learn more by visiting the I-5 Toll Project webpage.