Protection file

Metropolitan Council sets fairness and environmental protection requirements for I-5 bridge replacement program

A unanimous metropolitan council voted on Thursday to pass a document outlining the values, results and actions they want to see as part of the I-5 bridge replacement program. As one of the program’s partner organizations, Metro plays a role in approving funds for the project. The board resolution ensures that Metro’s green light for funding will be conditional on the program’s alignment with Metro’s 2018 regional transportation plan, which sets four main priorities: equity, safety, climate and reduction. congestion.

The bridge replacement program is a collaboration of the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation with input from a bi-state legislative committee. To move forward, the project must go through a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and receive support from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. Metro is one of eight local agencies participating in the NEPA process, along with the City of Portland, the City of Vancouver, the Southwest Regional Transportation Council (RTC), TriMet, C-Tran, the Port of Portland and the Port of Vancouver.

The values ​​document adopted by the Metro Council means that, to be approved, the project will have to show that a new bridge plan will advance racial equity, promote resilience and economic prosperity, and help reduce gas emissions. greenhouse effect, improving air quality. Metro will also require that the process engages stakeholders through transparent and inclusive decision-making. The document emphasizes that “Metro embraces the continued engagement and contribution of the public on the project, and in particular of the BIPOC communities that may benefit or be affected by this project. Metro recognizes Indigenous communities and tribal governments as important partners in this process.

“In order for us to see a project at the end that reflects our values, we need to be very clear and clear about it,” said Metro Council president Lynn Peterson. The resolution passed Thursday requires the bi-state committee to report to Metro by May 10, giving the board time to ensure its requirements are met before approving any project plan in June.