Portland-area drivers could soon see tolls along much of Interstates 5 and 205, if city officials have their way.
Last summer, the Oregon Legislature approved a plan to begin tolling on Portland-area highways, seeking to reduce traffic jams during rush hours and raise money for road construction.
What lawmakers didn't decide: the location of tolls, the amount to be charged or which hours the tolling would be in effect.
But an Oregon Department of Transportation committee tasked with making a recommendation by this summer is reviewing five concrete options for which roads would be tolled.
And the city of Portland has weighed in, saying it favors a plan that would implement tolls along all of I-5 and I-205 from the Washington state line down to the junction of the two highways south of Tualatin.
The city likes the most extensive tolls because such a plan would be least likely to encourage drivers to cheat the tolls by briefly hopping off the highways in favor of local streets.
And it won't require construction of new highway bridges or lanes, making it cheaper.
"It has the greatest potential to relieve congestion at the lowest cost to taxpayers," says Brendan Finn, chief of staff to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
There's one potential downside to several of these options: They would require the sign-off of the Trump administration—which is expected to take at least a year.
Here are the five options the ODOT committee can choose from:
Option 1: Priced lanes on a northern segment of 1-5.
Option 2: Toll all lanes on I-5.
Option 3: Toll all lanes on I-5 and I-205. (The city's favorite!)
Option 4: Add a priced lane on I-205.
Option 5: Toll both directions on the Abernethy Bridge.