I-5 and I-205 toll plan likely say Feds

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By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Motorists traveling on I-5 and I-205 through Portland during peak travel times are likely to pay a freeway toll in the not-too-distant future.

The Federal Highway Administration requested more information but, in a letter Jan. 8, indicated the Oregon Transportation Commission’s request to impose tolls is “likely eligible” to be approved.

In the letter, the federal agency outlined requirements for obtaining approval, including an environmental review, according to an Oregon Department of Transportation tolling news release.

The ODOT requested permission to impose freeway tolls to manage traffic congestion and raise money for transportation improvement projects.

The two sections of the highway that would be subject to tolling are:

• Interstate 5 for seven miles through central Portland, including the Rose Quarter.
• Interstate 205 near the George Abernethy Bridge in Clackamas County.

“This is a major step that will help us keep moving forward in what will be a long process,” said Tammy Baney, chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). “In this letter, the FHWA acknowledges the work completed in our feasibility analysis and points us toward the next steps we need to take to use tolling in Oregon to help us maintain a transportation system that will meet our growing needs.”
To see the FHWA letter, go to the project web site at www.odotvaluepricing.org.