Interstate 205 (Oregon–Washington)
Highway in Oregon and Washington
|War Veterans Memorial Freeway|
|Auxiliary route of I-5|
|Maintained by ODOT and WSDOT|
|Length||37.13 mi (59.75 km)|
|History||Completed in 1983|
|Counties||OR: Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah|
Interstate 205 (I-205) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the Portland metropolitan area of Oregon and Washington. It serves as a bypass route of I-5, traveling north–south along the east side of Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, intersecting several major highways and serving Portland International Airport.
The freeway is 37 miles (60 km) long and connects to I-5 at both of its termini, to the south in Tualatin, Oregon, and to the north in Salmon Creek, Washington. I-205 is officially named the War Veterans Memorial Freeway in both states, and is known as the East Portland Freeway No. 64 in Oregon (see Oregon highways and routes).
I-205 functions primarily as a bypass of I-5 within the Portland metropolitan area, serving the eastern suburban areas of Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. It is listed as part of the National Highway System, identifying routes that are important to the national economy, defense, and mobility, and recognized by Washington state as a Highway of Statewide Significance. The Oregon portion of I-205 is designated as East Portland Freeway No. 64 under the state's named highway system. The Oregon portion was also designated as the War Veterans Memorial Highway in 2000 and has since been home to an annual vehicle convoy near Veterans Day.
I-205 is maintained by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) within their respective states. Both agencies conduct annual surveys of traffic on segments of the freeway, the results of which are expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic (AADT), a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. Average traffic volumes on the Oregon portion in 2018 ranged from a minimum of 87,800 in Stafford to 170,900 near Division Street in Portland. The Washington portion ranged from a minimum of 47,000 in Salmon Creek to 160,000 on the Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge in 2019. The Glenn Jackson Bridge is the busier of the two main bridges over the Columbia River in the Portland area, with the older Interstate Bridge on I-5 carrying a daily average of 138,000 vehicles.
Washington and Clackamas counties
I-205 begins at a semi-directional T interchange with I-5 in eastern Tualatin, a suburb in Washington County, Oregon. The four-lane freeway travels east along Saum Creek and the Tualatin River into Clackamas County, where it passes through an area with a mix of housing subdivisions, forests, and farmland. After crossing the river, I-205 dives southeasterly into West Linn and runs along the banks of the Willamette River, which passes through the Willamette Falls and a scenic overlook for northbound traffic. After an interchange with Oregon Route 43 (OR 43), I-205 crosses the Willamette River on the sloped Abernethy Bridge, which carries six lanes for 2,727 feet (831 m) into Oregon City and is capped at the east by an interchange with OR 99E. The freeway passes the Oregon City train station, served by Amtrak's Cascades, and follows the railroad north to a junction with OR 213, which becomes concurrent to I-205.
The freeway continues north across the Clackamas River through Gladstone and Clackamas, passing through residential neighborhoods and an industrial area. Near Johnson City, I-205 intersects the west end of OR 212, which provides access to Boring and Mount Hood. The concurrency with OR 213 ends at a partial cloverleaf interchange with OR 224 (the Sunrise Expressway) on the west side of Mount Talbert near several radio towers. I-205 briefly expands to eight lanes and intersects several roads near the Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center and the Clackamas Town Center, a regional shopping mall, before continuing north through an unincorporated residential area between Milwaukie and Happy Valley. The freeway travels north with tracks on the west side for the MAX Green Line, a light rail service operated by TriMet, and enters the city of Portland in Multnomah County.
Portland and Vancouver
I-205 passes through the eastern neighborhoods of Portland, about 5 miles (8.0 km) from downtown, and runs parallel to the I-205 Transitway (carrying the MAX Green Line) and OR 213 on 82nd Avenue. From the Clackamas Town Center, the freeway travels through residential areas in the Lents neighborhood at the foot of Mount Scott, which is home to the Willamette National Cemetery. I-205 intersects U.S. Route 26 (US 26) at Powell Boulevard near Kelly Butte and the Jade District in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood. North of Division Street, the freeway forms the boundary between the Montavilla and Hazelwood neighborhoods as the MAX Green Line switches to the east side. I-205 then intersects Stark, Burnside, and Gilsan streets with a series of weaving ramps near Mall 205 and the Adventist Health Portland hospital.
North of Gilsan Street, the freeway intersects I-84 and US 30 near the Gateway/Northeast 99th Avenue Transit Center, where the MAX Green Line turns west. I-205 and I-84 travel parallel for one mile (1.6 km) along the base of Rocky Butte, following a section of the MAX Red Line on the I-205 Transitway. I-84 and US 30 turn east towards the Columbia River Gorge at Northeast Fremont Street, while I-205 continues north around the suburban enclave of Maywood Park with the light rail trackway in its median. The freeway intersects US 30 Bypass (Northeast Killingsworth Street) and turns northeast to pass under a railroad in the Parkrose neighborhood. The MAX Red Line leaves the freeway to travel west towards Portland International Airport, which is accessed from I-205 by an interchange with Airport Way on the south side of the Columbia River. I-205 crosses the Columbia River and Government Island on the eight-lane Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge, a concrete segmental bridge that spans a total of 11,750 feet (3,580 m) between Oregon and Washington.
On the Washington side of the river, I-205 serves the northeastern side of Vancouver and its unincorporated suburbs in Clark County. The freeway intersects State Route 14 (SR 14), a regional east–west freeway with connections to Downtown Vancouver and the Camas–Washougal area, in a partial cloverstack interchange on the north side of the river. I-205 curves northwest to intersect Mill Plain Boulevard in a partial cloverleaf interchange and Northeast 18th Street in a half-diamond interchange before continuing north through predominantly residential neighborhoods. The six-lane freeway then reaches a cloverleaf interchange with another east–west freeway, SR 500, on the east side of the Vancouver Mall. I-205 narrows to four lanes and travels northwest along LaLonde Creek to the community of Salmon Creek, where it terminates at an interchange with I-5. The interchange, located southwest of Washington State University Vancouver, is incomplete and requires some movements to be made by a pair of half-diamond interchanges on Northeast 134th Street.
A bicycle and pedestrian trail follows I-205 for much of its distance in the Portland metropolitan area, and connects to the Springwater Corridor trail near the Foster Road exit. The paved trail parallels the highway and the I-205 Transitway from Oregon City to Vancouver. It was constructed in the early 1980s, and is over 11 miles (18 km) long, running from SE 23rd Street (east of Ellsworth Road and north of the Evergreen Highway) on the Vancouver side of the Columbia River to a mile south of Clackamas Town Center. The multi-use path is managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The MAX Green Line, which opened in fall 2009, parallels much of the Interstate 205 Bike Path.
The Portland Improvement Plan of 1943, conceived by New York-based planner Robert Moses, included a "scenic thoroughfare" bypassing Portland to the east, as well as an inner loop of major roads in the downtown area. The corridor was included in a 1955 federal government plan for what would become the Interstate Highway System, approved a year later. The Oregon State Highway Commission designated it as the Laurelhurst Freeway, generally traveling along 39th Avenue (today César E. Chávez Blvd) through the Laurelhurst neighborhood between Tualatin and a new, toll-free bridge over the Columbia River.
The final section of I-205 to be completed, the section between SE Division Street and the southern interchange of the Glenn Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River, opened to traffic in March 1983. The approximately 10-mile (16 km) section on the Washington side of the river had opened in summer 1982, and the bridge opened in December 1982.
Construction of I-205 included a graded but unfinished transitway between SE Foster Road and NE Columbia Boulevard. The section between NE Columbia Boulevard and the I-205/I-84 junction became part of the MAX Red Line, and the section from E Burnside Street to SE Foster Road is used as part of the Green Line. The short portion between these sections was used by the first rail line, now known as the Blue Line.
Due to the tremendous growth in the Portland metropolitan area and the city of Vancouver, the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation (WSDOT, ODOT) are currently planning improvements on I-205 to improve traffic flow between the two states. In Vancouver, WSDOT and Clark County's Regional Transportation Commission are planning several new ramps to new arterials, grade-separating existing ramps with new ramps, and additional lanes. In Portland, ODOT is beginning to plan improvements, but no details have been released yet.
Another solution being floated around is a light rail line serving most or all the entire I-205 corridor, though the plan is being met with opposition from Clark County residents. Additionally, statements have been made by the Columbia River Crossing group that the Glenn Jackson Bridge was not properly engineered to carry light rail.
|Clackamas||||3.16||5.09||3||Stafford Road – Lake Oswego|
|West Linn||6.40||10.30||6||10th Street|
||Bicycles permitted southbound and prohibited northbound|
|Willamette River||9.13||14.69||Abernethy Bridge|
||Southern end of OR 213 concurrency|
|12B||Roots Road – Johnson City|
||Northbound signage; northern end of OR 213 concurrency|
|14||Sunnybrook Boulevard / Sunnyside Road|
|||16.24||26.14||16||Johnson Creek Boulevard|
|20||Washington Street / Stark Street||Northbound signage|
|Glisan Street / Stark Street||Southbound signage|
||Signed as exits 24A (west) and 24B (east) northbound|
|Columbia River||26.56||42.74||Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge; Oregon–Washington state line|
||Bicycles permitted northbound and prohibited southbound (must connect to bike path via SR 14)|
|28.30||45.54||28||Mill Plain Boulevard||Signed as exits 28A (east) and 28B (west) northbound|
|28C||Northeast 112th Avenue||Northbound exit only|
|29.31||47.17||29||Northeast 18th Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|30.87||49.68||30A||Northeast Gher Road / Northeast 112th Avenue||Southbound exit is via exit 30.|
||Signed as exits 30B (east) and 30C (west) northbound|
|31.08||50.02||Vancouver Mall (Fourth Plain Boulevard)||No northbound exit|
|33.01||53.12||32||Padden Parkway / Northeast Andresen Road – Battle Ground|
|||36.72||59.10||36||Northeast 134th Street – WSU Vancouver|
||Northern terminus; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
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