Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Springfield -A new I-5 interchange at Franklin Boulevard is not needed...


and would not fix any traffic problems. However, the mayor of Springfield begs to differ and thinks that more study should be done.
While ODOT planners say there's no clear justification for the ramps, they've left the door open for more study, if local governments pony up the cash. Discussions about the interchange picked up momentum two years ago with the building of the temporary I-5 bridge over the Willamette River.

A memo from ODOT senior planner Tom Boyatt says there's not a clear justification within the next 20 years for developing the interchange or the ramps, and that no pressing traffic problems would be fixed. [so why do we need a high be speed bus system then? ] He went on to say, "If the community is interested in pursuing that study, then it's primarily a community driven project and the expectation would be that there'd be significant leadership from the cities."

Leiken says the Franklin interchange project has wide support from U-of-O President Dave Frohnmayer [which means what?] and others. He thinks problems can be overcome and the agency memo is premature. Leiken explains, "We know that this process is going to take time, but don't pull the plug. Let's see what we can do."

Rough estimates for a Franklin Boulevard interchange run from 80 to 120 million dollars.

While I will admit that having an offramp from I-5 to Franklin Boulevard would be convenient, I personally do not think that Franklin Boulevard could handle the influx of traffic especially with the new high-speed bus system sharing the roadway.

I would say a more pressing issue would be to fix the Beltline between Delta highway and River Road.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin, Some day you need to sit down with Mr. Leiken. He is a master negotiater and keeps more opportunities in his hip pocket than maybe any elected official I have ever met. Don't let his big smile and charisma fool you. When you highlighted Dave Frohnmayer it is called a new Mac Court, Phil Knight and a possible NCAA 1st and 2nd round tournament, and yes the Mayor is right in the middle of it. The other is the future development of Glenwood. Can you say McKenzie-Willamette hospital in Glenwood. His track record is simple, over $700 million of new investment in Springfield alone the past 5 years and literally thousands of new jobs created. No wonder Ken Mehlman and co. are talking with him about a run for congress in 2008. Sorry Jim it ain't happening.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Bob H. said...

Where we need a bridge is from River Rd. to the back of Valley River Center. That would ease traffic on Belt Line, Washington-Jefferson, Delta, and Downtown. It could run from the north end of the Chambers bridge where it meets N.W. Expressway and go over by the bike bridge. It will never happen though because it might interfere with the illegals soccer field.

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