Interstate 205 is generally a six-lane, divided freeway that bypasses Portland by way of Oregon City and Portland International Airport. The rights of way for Interstate 205 are wide enough to allow for future expansion. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Interstate 205 is the eastern bypass of the Portland metropolitan area. The mileage-based exit numbering system continues from Oregon north into Washington. Fully opened in 1983 with the opening of the Glenn Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River, the first section of Interstate 205 to begin construction was the bridge over the Willamette River in West Linn, in 1968.
To avoid the Interstate Bridge north of downtown Portland on Interstate 5, Interstate 205 is a recommended alternate route for through traffic.
Construction of Interstate 205, the East Portland Freeway, was delayed throughout the 1970s as a result of a series of challenges related to the Environmental Impact Statement.1 Nevertheless, Interstate 205 was completed in stages between 1970 and 1983:
1968-1970: Willamette River Bridge opened in West Linn on May 28, 1970
1974: freeway from Interstate 5 northeast to West Linn and Oregon City opened in Clackamas County
1974-1978: controversy erupts over Multnomah County segment, with protests made to the Environmental Quality Commission. A compromise crafted by Glenn L. Jackson (Oregon Transportation Commission Chair) was reached between the various parties involved: community groups, environmentalists, and governmental agencies. By 1978, Interstate 205 construction was allowed to continue after a nearly five-year hiatus.
1978-1979: most controversial segment of Interstate 205 in Multnomah County constructed as a six-lane facility with fewer interchanges and fewer lanes than originally proposed; rights of way reserved for a busway
December 1982: Glenn L. Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River opened, thus completing the Oregon section of Interstate 205. This bridge was featured on the cover of that year's Oregon Official State Map.
1983: Washington section of Interstate 205 completed, thus finishing the bypass route
Interstate 205 was the last spur or bypass Interstate route to be constructed in Oregon.
Southbound Interstate 205 approaches its final exit at Exit 1, Junction Interstate 5 south to Salem and north to Portland, two miles. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/24/05).
The rainfall picked up a bit. The Interstate 5 interchange is another mile south of this point on southbound Interstate 205. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/30/05).
The left lanes of southbound Interstate 205 continue south on Interstate 5, while the right lane exits only onto northbound Interstate 5 to Tigard and Portland. The freeway widens out to three lanes. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/24/05).
Interstate 205 southbound reaches its southern terminus, as it splits into north and southbound Interstate 5 ramps. There is no END shield, just like most other Portland-area freeways. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/30/05).
Perspective from Interstate 5 North
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 286, Stafford/North Wilsonville. The next exit along northbound is Exit 288, Junction Interstate 205 north. Photo taken 08/27/06.
This diagrammatic signage displays the Portland Interstate network prior to the split of Interstate 205 from northbound Interstate 5. A similar sign is posted on Interstate 95 as it approaches Richmond, Virginia, for its split with Interstate 295. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Interstate 205 approach signage on Interstate 5 northbound. Photo taken 08/27/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to various destinations along northbound Interstate 205, including Oregon City and the Portland International Airport. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Interstate 5 northbound at the tri-level stack interchange with Interstate 205 (Exit 288). Photo taken 08/27/06.
Perspective from Interstate 5 South
Southbound Interstate 5 approaches Exit 288, Junction Interstate 205 north, 1.50 miles. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (03/06/05).
Continuing south, the next two exits are Exit 288, Tualatin/Sherwood and Exit 288, Junction Interstate 205 north. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/30/05).
The right two lanes connect to north Interstate 205, while the left three lanes continue south on Interstate 5 toward Salem, Eugene, Medford, and California. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (04/30/05).
The northbound beginning of Interstate 205 departs Interstate 5 southbound at Exit 288 in Tualatin. Traffic to the Portland bypass leaves Interstate 5 south at the Sagert Street over crossing. Interstate 205 loops east six miles to West Linn and eight miles to Oregon City before turning north to Clackamas and east Portland. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The two-lane transition ramp from southbound Interstate 5 to northbound Interstate 205 forms the bottom of a tri-level stack interchange that is only visible from this ramp. Here, the ramp passes under Interstate 5. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (03/06/05).
Perspective from Interstate 205 North
After transitioning from southbound Interstate 5 to northbound Interstate 205, this mileage sign provides the distance to Portland International Airport (24 miles). The freeway interchange is a tri-level stack with high mast lighting. Merging lanes ahead bring additional traffic from northbound Interstate 5 onto Interstate 205 north. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Shortly thereafter, Interstate 205 north enters Clackamas County. Photo taken 08/27/06.
This is the first Interstate 205 north shield assembly. Note how the Interstate 205 freeway is designated as the Veterans Memorial Highway in Oregon. There are not many roadside reassurance shields for Interstate 205; most reassurance markers are posted on overhead signs along this route. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The first exit along Interstate 205 north is Exit 1, Stafford Road to Lake Oswego. Photo taken 08/27/06.
Shortly after Exit 1, this overhead features an older Interstate 205 north pull through sign as well as mileage to Oregon City, Junction Interstate 84 (and U.S. 30), and Portland International Airport. Photo taken 08/27/06.
The final exit on northbound Interstate 205 is Exit 36, N.E. 134th Street, which serves Washington State University at Vancouver. Note the pull though sign, which indicates Interstate 5 rather than Interstate 205 as the main route number. An end shield is posted ahead (see next photobox). Photo taken by Chris Elbert (05/28/05).
An END shield is posted at the northern end of Interstate 205 in Washington near the point where the freeway merges onto Interstate 5. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (05/28/05).
Perspective from Interstate 5 South
The first appearance of signage for Interstate 205 appears along southbound Interstate 5 at the offramp for Exit 9, N.E. 179th Street near Ridgefield. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (11/26/05).
Interstate 205 is touted as the best route to Interstate 84 eastbound. This one of the few Interstate 84 shields to appear in Washington state, since that route remains south of the Columbia River in the state of Oregon. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (11/26/05).
Use the Interstate 205 south offramp to connect to N.E. 134th Street, Washington State University at Vancouver, and Portland International Airport. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (11/26/05).
Southbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 7, Junction Interstate 205 south to bypass the Portland metropolitan area. This sign bridge is located near Ridgefield just north of Vancouver. Notice the TO Interstate 84 and Washington 14 indicators on the Interstate 205 south signs. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (11/26/05).