In early 2020, the Oregon Transportation Commission directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to retain a consultant team that would conduct an independent assessment of the highway covers included in the Rose Quarter Improvement Project. The goal for this independent team was to understand the goals and objectives of stakeholders in the project area, generate potential highway cover scenarios, and assess the impacts and benefits of these scenarios.

The formed I-5 Rose Quarter Independent Cover Assessment team, which is made up of community engagement, urban design, engineering, and environmental experts, is working directly with Black community members from historic Albina to understand how potential highway covers, delivered as part of the Rose Quarter Improvement Project, can rebuild the neighborhood and better serve the historic Albina Community. We are also seeking direct input from historic Black community members and other stakeholders through a series of virtual work sessions, surveys, and public comments. The input will inform the development and evaluation of highway cover scenarios that best support the stakeholder visions for the Albina/Rose Quarter neighborhood, and support restorative justice goals for a diverse, inclusive, and accessible neighborhood.

The Rose Quarter Improvement Project Executive Steering Committee will ultimately make a recommendation to the Oregon Transportation Commission on the development scenario for the highway covers that best supports the collective vision. The goal is to ensure that these improvements strengthen the Lower Albina/Rose Quarter neighborhood and provide restorative justice to Portland’s Black historic community.

Our Commitment

The Independent Cover Assessment is committed to supporting historic Albina community stakeholders through the following actions:

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Ensuring independence, transparency, and objectivity in the analysis and alternative design development of the Rose Quarter Improvement Project highway covers.

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Elevating the voices of and providing benefits to the historically impacted Black Albina community.

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Ensuring an authentic, transparent, and responsive engagement strategy, one that informs and is informed by two-way dialogue.

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Connecting with community members in diverse spaces to amplify marginalized voices, meeting the community where they are.

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Proposing alternative development scenarios that prioritize restorative justice benefits both short-term and long-term for the Black historic Albina community.

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Providing multimodal travel opportunities in a fiscally responsible way.

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Establishing connectivity and proposing alternatives that support a vibrant and culturally grounded sense of place and space.

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Providing multimodal opportunities and investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and improve air quality, public health, and safety.

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Addressing local, regional, and statewide climate action goals.

Community Input

The Independent Cover Assessment team wants to hear directly from the historic Albina community and the metropolitan region! We are asking for input in three primary areas:

1. Visioning the future of the Albina/Rose Quarter neighborhood and determining which outcomes are most important. Your input here is critical to the development scenarios for the highway covers.

2. Evaluating development scenarios based on what the community has said is important. The project’s success is connected to its transparency and commitment to the community’s vision. The Independent Cover Assessment process and expertise is intended to empower the historic and local communities to make the choices that impact their future.

3. Recommending a development scenario for the highway covers that supports a broader vision for the future of the Albina/Rose Quarter neighborhood and the region. We will ensure the process is transparent and that participants can follow along to make sure the vision is achieved.

To learn more, please visit our Online Open House page.

Our Team

The Independent Cover Assessment team was selected by a panel consisting of the Albina Vision Trust, Metro, Multnomah County, Portland Public Schools, City of Portland, and Oregon Department of Transportation.


The Independent Cover Assessment team includes the following organizations:

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Toole Design Logo
Suenn Ho Design Logo
Leland Consulting Group Logo
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JM Woolley & Associates Logo
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Taha Logo
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The Independent Cover Assessment team will provide options for the development of the covers to The Executive Steering Committee. 

The Executive Steering Committee will receive community responses and consider advice and input from the Historic Albina Advisory Board in its decision-making.

Want to share your vision for the Albina/Rose Quarter neighborhood or have questions for our team? Please contact us form here.

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