Originally Posted by tworivers
Sorry to be Mr Negative all the time but this plan is another example of the hallucinations of highway engineers in a dying age. They've done a much better job here of throwing bones to the right people but this is still fundamentally about expanding capacity, not safety. Furthermore, I guarantee you that the freeway caps will be the first thing to go when the inevitable cost-cutting begins.
That area of I-5 needs to be widened if only for freight traffic.
I'll expand a bit. I-5 is a huge corridor for freight, and that is actually the main reason that the Feds have pushed so hard on the CRC, as the I-5 bridge is the only spot on the entire I-5 freeway with a lift bridge. Several years ago, Portland created is comprehensive transportation plan, which considered the next 50 years of growth, and how to manage it across all modes.
While it emphasized alternative modes for commuting, it noted that the current freeway system would be inadequate within 50 years, even if freight was the only thing traveling on it. That is, if all commuting was done by modes other than cars, our freeway system would still not be adequate for the amount of freight traffic that would be using the system at that time.
It proposed many ways to deal with this, (one of it's big suggestions on this was updating and improving our freight rail infrastructure), but it came to the conclusion that we have almost no choice but to partially expand I-5 (particularly through the Rose Quarter and through North Portland) if goods continue to be transported by vehicles which use roads over the next 50 years.
This particular interchange is a nightmare for everyone involved. Car traffic is very hazardous because of how dangerous the area is for freight. There is a legitimate safety problem with this section of freeway, where freight from I-84 merges and splits with I-5, and it creates both traffic and safety hazards for cars.
Categorically opposing all highway projects is very similar to the Clark/Clackamas County groups which oppose MAX/Streetcar. It doesn't make logical sense, and benefits no one.