Looking east from the Vista House, Interstate 84 follows the Columbia River Highway toward Cascade Locks and Hood River. The freeway hugs the south bank of the massive river, much the same way as Washington 14 hugs the north bank. As the main east-west route across Oregon, Interstate 84 stays close to the river while the Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. 30) follows higher ground along a much more winding route. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The Western Interstate 84 (Former Interstate 80N) is the primary route linking the northwestern cities of Salt Lake City, Boise, and Portland. This one of two instances of Interstate 84; the other is the Eastern Interstate 84 in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Interstate 84 was commissioned on May 1, 1980, to replace Interstate 80N as part of a nationwide effort to eliminate split and suffixed routes. The freeway was completed in 1975, but it still had several Super Two sections, including the segments in Oregon from Boardman to Stanfield Junction and the Pendleton Bypass. These segments were upgraded to full Interstate standards with four lanes by 1980.
In Oregon, Interstate 84 (80N) followed Columbia River Highway Number 2, which was also known as Oregon Highway 2. The Interstate was constructed in the Beaver State in stages between 1963 and 1980. One of the first segments of Interstate 84 (80N) to be completed was the section between the city of Portland and The Dalles. This section was largely complete in 1963 but not finalized due to the narrow terrain until 1969. Interstate 84 east of The Dalles was initially improved in the 1950s, but Interstate standard upgrades did not begin until after 1966 on this section. The freeway was considered fully constructed on July 3, 1980, with the completion of a segment of freeway near Baker City.1
Today, Interstate 84 follows the Banfield Expressway through Portland. This freeway was constructed prior to the implementation of Interstate standards, and it would have required a costly retrofit to bring the freeway to Interstate standards. As a result, a new path was suggested for Interstate 84. This proposed path for Interstate 84 (80N) through eastern Portland between Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 would have followed the unbuilt "Mount Hood Freeway" instead of the Banfield Expressway. In the mid-1960s, various alternate alignments were considered for the Mount Hood Freeway, which would have been about five miles in length.
The alignment selected for this freeway was known as "Division-Powell" corridor because it was to have followed U.S. 26 (Powell Boulevard). To facilitate connecting the Mount Hood Freeway with existing Interstate 84 (80N) east of Interstate 205, a 2.5-mile overlap with Interstate 205 would be required. In 1968, the Oregon Department of Transportation tried to obtain approval for this proposed routing. As local communities became aware of the freeway's proposed impact in established neighborhoods, a lawsuit was filed in 1972 in the U.S. District Court. The lawsuit demanded additional corridor studies and a full Environmental Impact Statement for this project.
As a result of this controversy coupled with the nationwide energy crisis at that time, the Portland City Council voted to withdraw its approval of the Mount Hood Freeway on July 25, 1974. By July 1975 (one year later), the freeway was withdrawn by the department of transportation, and the Interstate funds were reallocated to other projects. For more information on this project, visit the Interstate 50th Anniversary: The Story of Oregon's Interstates.1
Parallel/Historic U.S. Routes
Interstate 84 largely follows U.S. 30 from Portland east to Rupert, Idaho. East of Rupert, U.S. 30 used to split into two branches: U.S. 30N and U.S. 30S. Today's Interstate 84 replaces U.S. 30S from Rupert southeast to Echo Junction via Ogden, Utah.
East of downtown Portland, Interstate 84/U.S. 30 and Interstate 205 meet at Exit 9. From here, Interstate 84/U.S. 30 shift from the alignment of the Columbia River Highway to the Banfield Expressway. Interstate 205 provides the most direct routes to Interstate 5 north to Seattle and Interstate 5 south to Salem and Eugene. Continue west on Interstate 84 to downtown Portland. Photo taken 09/02/06.
After turning southwest briefly, this mileage sign on westbound Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 provides the distance to the final three exits: Exit 2, 43rd Avenue; Exit 1, Lloyd Center; and Exit 0, Junction Interstate 5/Downtown Portland. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Most of the Banfield Expressway segment of Interstate 84 is below grade on a shared alignment with the light rail system. Passing under the city street grid, only three exits are afforded for westbound travelers. Here, westbound Interstate 84/U.S. 30 pass under 82nd Avenue. Photo taken 09/02/06.
After Exit 2, 43rd Avenue, the next exit is Exit 1, Lloyd Center. The right lane becomes exit only for Exit 1. This is the final reassurance shield assembly for westbound Interstate 84 and U.S. 30. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Interstate 5 advance signage on Interstate 84 west at Exit 1 in Portland. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Westbound Interstate 84/U.S. 30 reaches Exit 1, Lloyd Center. Use this exit for the Rose Quarter, Central Eastside Industrial District, and Convention Center. Photo taken 09/02/06.
These signs identify some of the destinations served by Interstate 5. Use southbound for Beaverton and Salem and northbound for downtown Portland and Seattle. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Interstate 5 diagrammatic overhead on Interstate 84 west with the Portland city skyline in the background. Photo taken 09/02/06.
To continue west on U.S. 30 to Astoria, follow Interstate 5 north briefly to make the connection. U.S. 30 is not signed on the mainline of Interstate 5 at all, even though there are reassurance markers for I-5 on the multiplex in both directions. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Interstate 5 overheads on Interstate 84 west. U.S. 30 continues west beyond this interchange, continuing west and north to terminate at its junction with U.S. 26 and 101 in Astoria. Photo taken 09/02/06.
This photo shows the Interstates 5/84 stack interchange as seen from Interstate 84 west over the Willamette River in Portland. This marks the western terminus of the western Interstate 84. There is no END shield present here. Photo taken 09/02/06.
An exit for the Rose Quarter, Steel Bridge, and Convention Center is found on the transition ramp from westbound Interstate 84 to northbound Interstate 5. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Just prior to the Interstate 5 northbound merge is the ramp to Rose Quarter, Steel Bridge, and Convention Center. One could argue that this is the final exit of Interstate 84, since the only way to get to this ramp is from westbound Interstate 84, not Interstate 5. However, there are ramps serving the same areas from Interstate 5 as well. Photo taken 09/02/06.
Perspective from Interstate 5 North
Interstate 5 travels high above the Willamette River (via the 1966 Marquam Bridge) between Interstate 405 and junction Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 (Exit 300). The off-ramp for the eastbound beginning of Interstate 84 departs well ahead of the stack interchange between the two freeways. The departure segregates the movements to Interstate 84 east and East Portland from the Interstate 5 ramps with the Morrison Bridge. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Descending toward East Portland from the Willamette River on Interstate 5 north. Exit 300 not only serves Interstate 84 but also Yamhill Street into the East Portland neighborhood, the Central Eastside Industrial District, and the Oregon Museum of Science & Technology. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Northbound Interstate 5 splits with Interstate 84 eastbound at Exit 300. The three left lanes continue north on Interstate 5, while the right lanes exit to Interstate 84 and U.S. 30. U.S. 30 generally remains on the Interstate for much of its journey, although portions of the US route find their way onto the old road, especially in sections near the Columbia River. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Exit 300 partitions into ramps for Yamhill Street east and Interstate 84 & U.S. 30 east. Interstate 84 & U.S. 30 overlap throughout most of Oregon including the 83 mile drive between Portland and The Dalles. The tandem reach Interstate 205 six miles to the east near Portland International Airport. The first photo shows this sign assembly from mainline northbound Interstate 5; the second photo shows the sign along the transition ramp onto eastbound Interstate 84. Photos taken by Chris Elbert (03/06/05) and on 08/27/06.
Perspective from Interstate 5 South
This mileage sign found along southbound Interstate 5 provides the distance to the Interstate 405/U.S. 30 west and Interstate 84/U.S. 30 east interchanges in Portland. After this sign, Interstate 5 meets Interstate 405. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/24/05).
Southbound Interstate 5 and eastbound U.S. 30 approach the junction with Interstate 84 (Exit 301) after the Interstate 405 split and the Rose Quarter interchange (Exit 302). Photo taken 08/27/06.
Use Interstate 84/U.S. 30 (Banfield Expressway) east to the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most scenic sections of Interstate Highway in the entire system. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The right lane of Interstate 5 becomes exit only for Interstate 84/U.S. 30 eastbound. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Interstate 84 is split into two sections: this section between Portland and Echo Junction, Utah, and an eastern section in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. A huge gap exists between the two sections, and it is very unlikely the gap will ever be bridged. Similar gaps exist on Interstate 76, Interstate 86, and Interstate 88. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/24/05).
Southbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 301, Junction Interstate 84/U.S. 30. The next interchange along southbound is Exit 300B, Junction U.S. 26 and Oregon 99E (Former U.S. 99E). Photo taken 08/27/06.
Perspective from Interstate 84/U.S. 30 East
After departing from Interstate 5 north, eastbound Interstate 84/U.S. 30 proceed alongside Interstate 5 for less than a mile. This is another fairly complicated freeway interchange, with movements between Interstate 5, Interstate 84, Oregon 99E, Business U.S. 30/Burnside Bridge, and a variety of adjacent city streets. Since the Willamette River is located to the west of Interstate 5, some of the local ramps tie directly into local bridges (including Burnside Bridge and Morrison Bridge). For now, Interstate 84/U.S. 30 travels north alongside Interstate 5. Photo taken 08/27/06.
A high flyover ramp crosses over Interstate 84/U.S. 30 east. It carries traffic from southbound Interstate 5 to Oregon 99E (Pacific Highway and Grand Avenue couplet). We told you this was a complicated area of ramps. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Ramps join Interstate 84/U.S. 30 east from the Morrison Bridge and downtown. Although not profiled here, signs on the eastbound Morrison Bridge provide direction to north Interstate 5, east Interstate 84/U.S. 30, S.E. Yamhill Street (eastbound), and S.E. Belmont Street (eastbound) to Oregon 99E. Photo taken 08/27/06.
After transitioning from Interstate 5, this is the first reassurance shield along eastbound Interstate 84/U.S. 30 in Portland; it is located in the shadow of the Burnside Bridge, which carries Business U.S. 30 over Interstate 5 and the Willamette River. This is not technically U.S. 30 yet; U.S. 30 will merge onto Interstate 84 at the Grand Avenue overpass. Note that the shields were replaced between April 2005 and August 2006. Interstate 84 in Portland is known as the Banfield Expressway; it is named after a former head of the Oregon Highway Commission. Photos taken by Chris Elbert (04/24/05) and on 08/27/06.
Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 finally turn away from Interstate 5 and move east toward suburban Portland. This 45 mile-per-hour turn marks the point where Interstate 84 begins its move toward the east. Photo taken 08/27/06.
U.S. 30 joins Interstate 84 at the Grand Avenue overpass, forming a third lane for eastbound traffic. This onramp also brings traffic from southbound Interstate 5. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Traffic thickens as Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 follow the Banfield Expressway east. This is the first pull-through reassurance sign for Interstate 84 and U.S. 30; the mileage sign provides the distance to the major interchange with Interstate 205 as well as Hood River and The Dalles. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The first exit from eastbound Interstate 84/U.S. 30 is Exit 1, 33rd Avenue. The next several exits are: Exit 2, 39th Avenue; Exit 3, 58th Avenue; Exit 4, 68th Avenue; Exit 5, Junction Oregon 213/82nd Avenue; Exit 6, Junction Interstate 205 south; and Exit 8, Junction Interstate 205 north to Bypass U.S. 30. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The first major interchange (after the aforementioned urban exits) along nascent Interstate 84 is the junction with Interstate 205. Almost immediately after passing Interstate 205, Interstate 84 begins to leave the urban area of Portland, and it starts its journey east toward The Dalles, Pendleton, Baker, and Boise, Idaho. Photo taken 08/27/06.
View of the split of Interstates 80 and 84 along westbound as seen from old U.S. 30S. Dale Sanderson, who took this picture, was pretty pleased with this photo of the west beginning from westbound Interstate 80, because not only do you see the signage - but you can also see the ramp from westbound Interstate 80 to westbound Interstate 84, and the ramp from eastbound Interstate 84 to eastbound Interstate 80. The viaduct in the foreground is likely to be a railroad, and the one behind that is the viaduct from eastbound Interstate 80 to westbound Interstate 84. Photo taken by Dale Sanderson.
Perspective from Interstate 84 East
The final reassurance shield for Interstate 84 lies near Henefer after Exit 115 (Utah 65). Photo taken 09/08/05.
Distances are listed to the Interstate 80 eastbound control cities of Evanston and Cheyenne, Wyoming for Interstate 84 drivers. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Within two miles of the eastern terminus of Interstate 84 at Echo Junction. A pair of one-lane ramps join the freeway with Interstate 80 via a directional interchange. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A second diagrammatic overhead advises motorists of the lane configuration for Interstate 80. Interstate 80 enters the area from Evanston, Wyoming, 33 miles to the east. The freeway meets Interstate 84 at Exit 169 and turns south alongside Echo Reservoir to Coalville, Silver Creek Junction, and Park City before the western turn through Parleys Canyon to Salt Lake City. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A small guide sign touts the connections of Interstate 80 to Coalville (Exit 162) and Park City (Exits 146 and 145). Interstate 80 otherwise enters Salt Lake City at Exit 128. Photo taken 09/08/05.
One half mile northwest of the ramp split between Interstate 80 east and west on Interstate 84 east. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A local road passes underneath Interstate 84 ahead of its end interchange. The second to last sign bridge assigns Exit 120 to the westbound on-ramp to Interstate 80 for Salt Lake City. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Interstate 84 draws to a close at the Exit 120 ramp departure for Interstate 80 east. The ramps between the two freeways fit tightly in the valley at Echo Junction. The advised speeds are an indication of the sharp ramps. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A one-piece gore point sign reaffirms the Interstate 80 off-ramps at the Interstate 84 conclusion. The next exit on westbound exists at Coalville six miles to the south. Eastbound travelers encounter the Echo off-ramp in one mile. Cheyenne, Wyoming meanwhile lies another 389 miles to the east. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Perspective from Interstate 80 east
Now traveling east on Interstate 80, a similar set of signs is posted as the freeway passes by Echo Reservoir and approaches its junction with Interstate 84 at Echo Junction. This sign is posted one-half mile before the junction of Interstate 80 east with Interstate 84. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (05/16/06) and Jeff Royston (03/02).
Eastbound Interstate 80 meets Interstate 84 at Exit 168. Interesting how the control city is Cheyenne, which is nearly 400 miles east of here. Once in Wyoming, the destination/control cities shift to each city with a business loop between Evanston and Cheyenne. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (05/16/06) and Rich Piehl (05/01).
View of the transition ramp from eastbound Interstate 80 to westbound Interstate 84 (formerly Interstate 80N until 1980). The ramp flies over Interstate 80 and will merge onto the nascent freeway on the right side. Curious rock formations line Echo Canyon. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (05/16/06).
Perspective from Interstate 80 west
Interstate 80 westbound is silently merged with U.S. 189 southbound as the freeway reaches Exit 169 to Echo Dam Road and approaches the split with Interstate 84, the first Interstate to meet Interstate 80 since leaving Cheyenne, Wyoming. Echo Dam Road flows south from Echo alongside the Echo Reservoir to Main Street in Coalville. Echo Canyon Road stems east from Echo Road to Emory. Echo Road (old U.S. 30S) parallels Interstate 84 northwest to junction Utah 65 at Exit 115 in Henefer. Photo taken 09/08/05.
The next interchange encountered by Interstate 80 & U.S. 189 westbound travelers is the eastern terminus of Interstate 84. Interstate 84 travels northwest from Echo Junction to Ogden, Boise, and Portland among other communities in the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwestern states. Photo taken 09/08/05.
The Exit 169 on-ramp forms the exit-only lane for Interstate 84 west (Exit 168). Interstate 84 travels north along the former U.S. 30S corridor through Henefer, Morgan, and Ogden to junction Interstate 15. Interstate 15 & 84 share pavement northward to Tremonton and their respective split to Idaho. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A branch of the Union Pacific Railroad line passes over Interstate 80 ahead of the Exit 168 ramp split onto Interstate 84 west. Interstate 80 & U.S. 189 turn southward toward Coalville and Silver Creek Junction on the 40-mile drive to Salt Lake City. Interstate 84 meanders northwest five miles to Henefer and 39 miles to Ogden. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Perspective from Interstate 84 West
This is the first Interstate 84 shield found along westbound after the Interstate 80 interchange. There is no BEGIN shield assembly. The next exit along westbound is about five miles west of the Interstate 80/84 split. Photo taken by Dale Sanderson (10/13/05).