The Oregon Transportation Commission has reached a crossroads when it comes to the I-5 Rose Quarter megaproject.
The governing body of the Oregon Department of Transportation is poised to make a decision later this month about whether to drive ahead with the estimated $500 million project or whether to hit the brakes and perform a more thorough assessment of its environmental impacts.
Thus far, ODOT’s analysis of the project’s potential impact to the earth and to our community has been severely lacking. And that’s not just according to activists who oppose the project. Back in April, Metro’s senior planner described ODOT’s work on the project “inadequate and potentially misleading.”
In August, ODOT hinted that they’d heed the groundswell of community leaders and voices calling for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as part of the National Environmental Protection Act process they’re mandated to comply with. To date, ODOT has completed only an Environmental Assessment (EA) which is a less robust process.
As a decision from the OTC gets closer, pressure to slow down and do the EIS is building.