Southbound I-5 Boone Bridge Auxiliary Lane Study
Wilsonville and ODOT to Study I-5 Congestion Solutions South of Wilsonville
The City of Wilsonville and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) are partnering to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion on the I-5 Boone Bridge heading south from Wilsonville.
The “Southbound I-5 Boone Bridge Auxiliary Lane Study” plans to examine the traffic impacts and costs for adding an additional lane on I-5 from the Wilsonville Road interchange (Exit 283) south past Miley Road (Charbonneau Exit 282B) to the Aurora/Canby/Hubbard Highway 551 interchange (Exit 282A).
The study is one component of several projects that the City is undertaking to reduce morning and evening commute-hours traffic congestion in the I-5/Wilsonville Road interchange area.
Additionally, the planning effort is part of the larger City Council-directed push for a more comprehensive “South Metro I-5 Corridor Study” that would examine the costs and benefits of both a range of potential highway improvements to I-5 from Tigard/Highway 217 to Aurora/Donald Ehlen Road Exit 278, along with increased public-transit options.
After the Council approved a $50,000 City contribution to the study, the planning process started in October 2017 and concludes in the summer of 2018. The three phases of work include:
- Technical analysis of benefits and impacts;
- Gathering of public input and preferences; and,
- A resolution of support by the City Council, then adoption by the Oregon Transportation Commission for inclusion in the updated Metro Regional Transportation Plan.
Traffic Issues with the Southbound I-5 Boone Bridge Area
The mile-plus stretch of southbound I-5 from Wilsonville Road Exit 283 past Miley Road Exit 282B to Highway 551 Exit 282A has a number of problems.
Symptoms of the Problem
- Traffic bottleneck between I-5 Wilsonville Road interchange (Exit 283) and two nearby interchanges at Miley Road (Charbonneau Exit 282B) and Wilsonville-Hubbard Cut-off Highway 551 (Exit 282A).
- Up to 4.5 hours of daily congestion.
- Evening commute speeds drop to 25 mph, with the PM queue backing-up to I-205.
- I-5 congestion causes spill back on Wilsonville Road and nearby intersections at Boones Ferry Road and Town Center Loop West.
- Over 129,000 vehicles per day pass-by Wilsonville on I-5, with 62,000 vehicles crossing the Boone Bridge going south. For comparison, the I-5 Boone Bridge carries nearly as much traffic as the I-5 “Columbia River Crossing” Interstate Bridge—only four percent less traffic—and one-third more semi-trucks.
- Extensive traffic weaving between lanes that induces slow-downs and accidents: More than 20% of the evening peak-hours traffic enters I-5 at Wilsonville Road on-ramp while over 35% of the traffic exits at Charbonneau or Wilsonville-Hubbard Cut-off Highway 551 that also accesses Canby. Over the four-year period of 2011-15, this stretch of I-5 had 148 automobile accidents.
City Council Approves Agreements with ODOT for I-5/Wilsonville Road Interchange, Boone Bridge Study, and More Traffic Mitigation Plans
In October 2017, the City Council approved an agreement with the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) for a construction project to modify the I-5/Wilsonville Road interchange Exit 283 southbound freeway on-ramp. The $700,000 project adds a third stacking lane to the metered I-5 on-ramp in order to increase capacity to hold an additional 25 vehicles waiting to enter the freeway during evening rush-hour.
The project is part of five congestion-improvement projects approved by the City Council totaling an approximately $1 million in the I-5/Wilsonville Road/Boones Ferry Road intersection area designed to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.
Other congestion-relief projects include:
- Lengthening the southbound Boones Ferry Road double left-turn lanes onto eastbound Wilsonville Road, which is complete.
- Reconstructing the southern, signalized entrance/exit to Old Town Square/Fred Meyer shopping center to include a second travel lane on northbound Boones Ferry Road between the exit/entrance and Wilsonville Road.
- Signing “No Turn on Red” during evening rush-hour for right-turn movements from northbound Boones Ferry Road onto eastbound Wilsonville Road.
- Working with ODOT on the Southbound I-5 Boone Bridge Auxiliary Lane Study; see page 1 for details.
- Considering installing ‘red-light’ cameras to deter running red lights and blocking intersections.