ROSE QUARTER PROJECT TURNS THORNY

ROSE QUARTER PROJECT TURNS THORNY: A Nov. 6 meeting of stakeholders in the Oregon Department of Transportation’s proposed $450 million expansion of Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter went sideways. Such groups as Portland Public Schools, Albina Vision, Metro and the city of Portland want the project to include more environmental and community benefits and believed ODOT had committed to a full-blown environmental impact study after a series of meetings earlier this year. But new Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Bob Van Brocklin appeared last week to back away from that commitment and suggested the OTC would vote next month to proceed with the project as planned, according to four people who attended the meeting. That led to harsh words. Stakeholders are dismayed and vow resistance. PPS board member Julia Brim Edwards declined to comment on the substance of the meeting but says, “We’re not going to get run over.” ODOT declined to comment.

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