Highway expansion projects too often come with big price tags and paltry benefits. Yet at least nine new expansions are planned across the country, including one in Oregon.
On June 18, OSPIRG released our national network's fifth edition "Highway Boondoggles" report, which profiles these projects. In Oregon, the proposed I-5 Rose Quarter widening is expected to cost $450 million and constitutes a step backward to the car-dependent policies of the past for Portland, a city that has taken great strides toward sustainability. Collectively, the nine projects examined are slated to cost at least $25 billion.
In addition to the cost, the report demonstrates that boondoggle projects like these often fail to reduce congestion but do increase asthma-inducing air pollution and divert funding from road repair and public transit priorities.
“To solve our transportation problems—from potholes to pollution to global warming—we need to put outdated highway projects in our rearview mirror," said Matt Casale, director of our national network's Highway Boondoggles campaign and co-author of the report.
Read the report.
Photo: U.S. PIRG Education Fund's latest "Highway Boondoggles" report covers nine new budget-eating highway projects including the proposed widening of I-5 (pictured above), which is slated to cost a total of $450 million. Credit: Imagery ©2019 Google, Map data ©2019 Google