Frequently Asked Questions

(Last updated 10/9/15)

Project-wide

UPDATE: When does the work start? Sign replacement work started in spring 2015 and will continue through February 2016. Paving began in summer 2015 and the majority of paving work is complete. However, dry weather is needed to finish remaining deck seal work on the Marquam Bridge, which is scheduled to begin summer 2016.

How will I know when areas I use will be affected? Work areas, closure schedules and recommended detours are all available on an interactive map. ODOT will also notify the public through the news media, Twitter (@OregonDOT) and electronic freeway signs.

What are the work hours? To reduce impacts on motorists, all freeway lanes and ramps will remain open during the day and construction will take place at night. Most of the work will occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. on the weekends. Periodic daytime shoulder closures on I-5 may occur.

Will there be daytime closures? All freeway lanes and ramps will be open during the day. Construction will take place at night. Crews may need to close freeway shoulders during the day to prepare sites for drilling equipment for the new sign supports. The contractor, in conjunction with ODOT, will determine if closures are necessary to perform the work safely. More information will be available as contractor completes the work plan.

Are any full freeway closures planned? Yes. Both the sign replacement and paving phases of the project will require multiple full overnight closures of I-5, including the Marquam and Fremont bridges. Expect full southbound closures of I-5 for both sign and paving work (while northbound I-5 remains open), full northbound closures of I-5 for sign work (while southbound I-5 remains open) and full closures in both directions at the same time for the sign work. The exact schedule and frequency of these night closures hasn’t yet been established.

UPDATE: I live near I-5. What are the expected impacts to my neighborhood? If you live near the work zone, you may experience noise from the pavement grinding and the paving equipment and may notice mild vibration from drilling equipment (for new sign supports). Portable lights will be used to illuminate some work areas. In addition, neighbors near the work zone may hear beeping noise (from a vehicle referred to as a “spotter”) on occasion when construction vehicles are reversing. Using these spotters is a requirement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is important to ensure the safety of crew members in a construction zone. During the paving, noise will be transitory as equipment – asphalt trucks and compactors -- move through the area.

NEW: Detour signs are posted during the daytime, but construction occurs at night. When should I follow the detour signs? Detour signs may be posted in advance of the construction work hours, including during the daytime. Detours will only be required during the posted work hours, which occur mostly between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. on the weekends.

Is ODOT planning on constructing noise walls as part of this project? No. The permanent noise walls you sometimes see along Portland freeways are constructed only when recommended by a noise technical study funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or by ODOT. The highway paving and sign projects do not meet FHWA’s and ODOT’s criteria for requiring noise studies. The noise produced as a result of construction projects is short term in nature and noise walls are constructed to reduce high noise levels from long-term operations, such as traffic noise.

Will ODOT need a noise variance from the City of Portland? Yes. Noise levels from paving equipment are likely to exceed the City’s nighttime decibel limits, so ODOT applied for and received a variance from the City of Portland to do night work. The restrictions in the noise variance, along with the noise control requirements written in the construction specifications, will help minimize the high noise levels that residents might experience during construction.

What is the total cost of the project? The paving portion of the project is expected to cost $10.8 million while the sign replacement cost will be about $6.4 million.

How is this project being funded?
Paving I-5 from the Marquam Bridge to Southwest Capitol Highway will be paid for by federal Interstate Maintenance and Bridge programs. Funds for the highway sign replacement portion of the project come from 2015-2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs.

Sign Replacement

Why are the green freeway signs being replaced? The existing signs are not up to federal standards. The new signs will feature more reflective materials and will be easier to read. ODOT has been gradually replacing signs on freeways throughout the state over the past few years and now it is the Portland region's turn.

Will all the signs along the corridor, including the electronic signs, be replaced? No. Only the green highway signs on I-5 between Southwest Corbett Avenue and North Lombard Street and on both decks of the I-405 Fremont Bridge will be replaced. ODOT will be adding about ten new sign structures on I-5, in addition to replacing approximately 300 signs along the project corridor.

Will ODOT add more electronic ODOT RealTime signs as part of this project? No. However, when the full closures and detours occur, the ODOT RealTime signs will relay the message of full closures and detours. For more information on ODOT’s RealTime system, visit TripCheck.com.

Why are sign supports being replaced? Many of the supports are deteriorating, or should be located to better areas for maintenance and visibility.

How long will sign work areas be closed? Each sign work area is expected to take several nights. The contractor may work at several sites each night. For locations of sign work, visit the interactive map.

Paving

Why is paving necessary on this stretch of I-5? The stretch of I-5 between Capitol Highway and the Marquam Bridge was last paved more than 10 years ago. There are as many as 137,000 vehicles, including heavy freight trucks, using this corridor every day. As a result, the pavement is showing signs of deterioration and must be repaired to maintain safety for the traveling public.

How long will the paving take? Paving will begin in summer 2015 with the project set to conclude by the end of 2015. Some remaining deck seal work on the Marquam Bridge is scheduled to begin in May 2016.

How will the paving be done? The contractor will need to remove the existing asphalt and grind the roadway before adding the new asphalt. The contractor will determine the sequence and timing of the work based on ODOT requirements. It’s likely that most portions of I-5 will be paved in a single direction at a time to maintain flow of traffic. Paving may start from Capitol Highway and move north to the Marquam Bridge. More information will be available closer to when work begins.

Which on-ramps and off-ramps will be paved? See the interactive map for detail on which on-ramps and off-ramps will experience nighttime closures while they are improved.

Bridge Work

What work is being done on the Marquam Bridge? Northbound and southbound on-ramps and off-ramps will be repaved and signage will be replaced as needed. Repairs to the deck joints on the southbound bridge will also occur.

Will the Marquam Bridge be closed? Work on the Marquam Bridge will require multiple closures for the different types of work. Only one direction of the bridge will ever be fully closed at a time and all work will take place at night. For signage replacement on the northbound upper deck, outer lanes of the bottom deck may need to be closed while supports are removed or installed. Installation of signs that span the roadway will require multiple lane closures or a full single-direction closure of the bridge to maintain safety of both the workers and motorists. The on-ramp from Southwest Macadam Avenue, OR 43, to the Marquam Bridge will also be closed during the full closure.

What work is being done on the Fremont Bridge? Signs will be replaced as needed.

Will the Fremont Bridge be closed? Each direction of the Fremont Bridge and adjacent on-ramps will be closed, one direction at a time, so that workers can move the new sign equipment into place. When the upper northbound deck is closed, outer lanes of the bottom deck may need to be closed while supports are removed or installed. More information will be available closer to when work begins.

What work is being done on other freeway bridges? Several freeway bridges in the project area have deteriorating deck joints and concrete surfaces and improvements will be done to address these needs. See the interactive map for detail of freeway bridge work.

Related Information


News

Construction Update (09/30/2016)

Paving and sign work on Interstate 5 from SW Capitol Highway to N Lombard Street included replacing…

Construction Update (09/23/2016)

Paving and sign work on Interstate 5 from SW Capitol Highway to N Lombard Street included replacing…

Construction Update (09/16/2016)

Paving and sign work on Interstate 5 from SW Capitol Highway to N Lombard Street included replacing…


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