Interstate 505 Oregon

I-505 Oregon
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 505, the Industrial Freeway, was a planned 3.17-mile spur from I-405 along the U.S. 30 corridor in northwest Portland. The Industrial Freeway was conceptualized as early as 1959 and 1963. AASHTO approved the I-505 designation on June 23, 1969 and the Interstate highway was proposed in 1971 as a 1.3-mile long facility. Controversy involving the construction of I-505 ensued. A lawsuit demanding an environmental study was presented to the U.S. District Court in 1971, and it was debated through the rest of the decade.

Interstate 505 was formally withdrawn from Oregon’s Interstate Highway System in December 1979. The lone segment built was the approach ramps to Interstate 405 and the Fremont Bridge at the east end. These were incorporated into a reroute of U.S. 30.1

U.S. 30 Bypass - St. Johns Bridge
Plans for Interstate 505 called for the western terminus to be at the St. Johns Bridge approach (U.S. 30 Bypass). This landmark bridge, built in 1931, would possibly have had its western approach modified to meet the proposed Interstate highway. Photo taken 09/02/06.

Route Information

  • East End – Portland, OR

  • West End – Portland, OR

  • Mileage – 3.17

  • Cities – Portland

  • JunctionsI-405

ODOT Hwy #92 / Lower Columbia River Hwy (US 30) Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Milepost Vehicles per day
1.45 77,200
1.87 39,900
2.38 35,200
2.63 35,000
3.07 32,900

According to Interstate 50th Anniversary: The Story of Oregon’s Interstates, the Interstate 505 freeway spur was planned to open up the industrial areas along Yeon Avenue; the freeway would have been routed on or along this section of U.S. 30. It would have extended from Interstate 405 in Downtown Portland to U.S. 30 Bypass where U.S. 30 changes into St. Helens Road. The course would have traveled through a considerable number of residential buildings and along the fringe of Forest Park. These factors ultimately caused Interstate 505 to join in Oregon’s Great Freeway Kill Off in the mid-1970s.2

The state of Oregon redirected federal Interstate dollars allocated for I-505 for an array of projects. These included funds for completing Interstate 205, Portland area highway improvements on U.S. 26 (Sunset Highway), Oregon 212, and Oregon 217 and other roads, and construction of mass transportation systems including the “Banfield Transitway Project”.

East End I-405 US 30 / Fremont Bridge – Portland, Oregon

US 30 east at I-405

US 30 east at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

Eastbound U.S. 30 reaches N.W. Yeon Avenue near Forest Park; the US route shifts onto a brief freeway alignment that was to be a part of Interstate 505 until that freeway was eliminated in the Oregon Freeway Purge. Photo taken Chris Elbert (05/28/05).

US 30 east at I-405 - Portland, OR

The short freeway proceeds one half mile to the exchange with Interstate 405. 09/02/06

US 30 east at I-405 - Portland, OR

The U.S. 30 freeway continues from Vaughn Street to I-405 (Stadium Freeway). U.S. 30 eastbound transitions onto Interstate 405 north ahead. 08/27/06

US 30 east at I-405 - Portland, OR

Interstate 405 south links with U.S. 26 west as well as I-5 south to Eugene. 08/27/06

US 30 east at I-405 - Portland, OR

Taking the ramp from U.S. 30 east to Interstate 405 south in Portland. Photo taken Chris Elbert (05/28/05).

I-405 north at US 30

I-405 north at US 30 - Portland, OR

Northbound I-405 reaches Exit 2B to Everett Street. The succeeding exit is for U.S. 30, which would have been Interstate 505 had the rest of the freeway been built to the west. 08/27/06

I-405 north at US 30 - Portland, OR

A series of overpasses span Interstate 405 as the freeway passes just west of Downtown Portland. Exit 3 departs next from the left lanes to U.S. 30 westbound. 08/27/06

I-405 north at US 30 - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 branches northwest from I-405 to Yeon Avenue, past Forest Park, and on to St. Helens Road. 08/27/06

I-405 north at US 30 - Portland, OR

Interstate 405 transitions to the lower deck of the tied arch Fremont Bridge over the Willamette River beyond the separation with Exit 3 to U.S. 30 west at the planned I-505 freeway. 08/27/06

I-405 north at US 30 - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 extends northwest from Portland to Astoria on the Pacific Coast, where the transcontinental highway ends at U.S. 101 near the mouth of the Columbia River. 08/27/06

I-405 south US 30 west

I-405/US 30 south split - Portland, OR

I-405/U.S. 30 travel on the upper deck of the Fremont Bridge across the Willamette west from Interstate 5 to their split at Exit 3. U.S. 30 leaves the Portland urban loop via a short freeway spur that was to be part of planned I-505. 09/02/06

I-405/US 30 south split - Portland, OR

The Fremont Bridge is the largest tied arch bridge on the Interstate Highway System, with a much higher span than comparable bridges elsewhere in the system. The I-405/U.S. 30 split is at the south end of the main span. 09/02/06

West End of Freeway Spur US 30 (N.W. Yeon Ave) at Vaughn St – Portland, Oregon

US 30 west

US 30 west at Vaughn St - Portland, OR

The freeway spur of U.S. 30 travels a half mile northwest from Interstate 405 (Stadium Freeway) to Vaughn Street. 09/02/06

US 30 west at Vaughn St - Portland, OR

Traffic from Interstate 405 northbound joins U.S. 30 west ahead of the wye interchange with Vaughn Street. Vaughn Street represents the original U.S. 30 alignment to N.W. St. Helens Road. 09/02/06

US 30 west at Vaughn St - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 transitions into N.W. Yeon Avenue at forthcoming Nicolai Street. Prior to the completion of the Interstate 505 freeway ramps, U.S. 30 lined Vaughn Street just south of the Montgomery Park building. A former Montgomery Ward Distribution Center built in 1921, Montgomery Park today is an office building renovated in 1989. Montgomery Park is the second office building by volume in Portland.4 09/02/06

US 30 west at Vaughn St - Portland, OR
US 30 west at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

The U.S. 30 freeway proceeds another half mile beyond the Vaughn Street off-ramp to Nicolai Street. 09/02/06

US 30 west at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 continues with two lanes beyond Nicolai Street to the N.W. Industrial Area, the St. Johns Bridge, and St. Helens via Yeon Avenue. 09/02/06

US 30 west at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

Following the Willamette River northwest toward St. Helens, U.S. 30 (Yeon Avenue) turns northwest through industrial and port areas. Interstate 505 would have extended along U.S. 30 from Nicolai Street into the N.W. Industrial Area. 09/02/06

US 30 east

US 30 east at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 transitions into the freeway built for Interstate 505 in a quarter mile at the intersection with Nicolai Street. 09/02/06

US 30 east at Nicolai St - Portland, OR

Both lanes of Yeon Avenue transition onto the I-505 freeway spur as U.S. 30 shifts southward across Nicolai Street. 09/02/06

Nicolai Street at US 30

Nicolai St east at US 30 - Portland, OR

A guide sign directs motorists from Nicolai Street eastbound onto the freeway spur linking U.S. 30 (NW Yeon Avenue) with Interstate 405. 09/02/06

Nicolai St west at US 30 - Portland, OR

Westbound Nicolai Street intersects U.S. 30 at N.W. Yeon Avenue and the short freeway spur from the Fremont Bridge. The proposed Industrial Freeway (Interstate 505) would have extended northwest toward the St. Johns Bridge from here. 09/02/06

Planned West End US 30 (N.W. Yeon Ave) at US 30 Bypass / St. Johns Bridge – Portland, Oregon

US 30 west at US 30 Bypass / St. Johns Bridge

US 30 west at US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br - Portland, OR

4.6 miles north of the freeway end at Nicolai Street in the N.W. Industrial Area, westbound U.S. 30 approaches U.S. 30 Bypass and the St. Johns Bridge. This is where Interstate 505 would have ended. 09/02/06

US 30 west at US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br - Portland, OR

The St. Johns Bridge comes into view beyond the left turn connecting U.S. 30 with NW Bridge Avenue to the suspension bridge. U.S. 30 Bypass is not signed in this direction. 09/02/06

US 30 Bypass / St. Johns Bridge west at US 30

US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br west at US 30 - Portland, OR

Crossing the St. Johns Bridge along U.S. 30 Bypass, the junction with I-505 would have been located at the south end of the span. Instead, the bridge connects with U.S. 30 near Forest Park. Designed by David B. Steinman, the green paint scheme of the St. Johns Bridge to promote harmony with the forest covered hills on the southern bank of the Willamette River.3 09/02/06

US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br west at US 30 - Portland, OR

Located south of the confluence with the Columbia River, the St. Johns Bridge is the northernmost crossing over the Willamette River. Built in 1931, the St. Johns Bridge deck was rehabilitated in 2005. With a main span of 1,207 feet, the bridge rises 205 feet above the navigable waters below. The St. Johns Bridge is one of three major suspension bridges in the state of Oregon, none of which are on the Interstate Highway System.3 09/02/06

US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br west at US 30 - Portland, OR

The north end of the undivided four lane St. Johns Bridge (U.S. 30 Bypass) ties into NW Bridge Avenue above U.S. 30 (NW St. Helens Road). 09/02/06

US 30 east at US 30 Bypass / St. Johns Bridge

US 30 east at US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br - Portland, OR

Interstate 505 would originated from U.S. 30 near or at the junction with U.S. 30 Bypass (St. Johns Bridge). The first advance sign for the St. Johns Bridge along NW St. Helens Road south appears a half mile out. 09/02/06

US 30 east at US 30 Bypass/St. Johns Br - Portland, OR

U.S. 30 Bypass separates from U.S. 30 (NW St. Helens Road) via NW Bridge Avenue. U.S. 30 remains along St. Helens Road southeast to Yeon Avenue into the Northwest Industrial Area while U.S. 30 Bypass crosses the St. Johns Bridge to Germantown Road. 09/02/06

Sources:

  1. Interstate 50th Anniversary: The Story of Oregon’s Interstates.
  2. Chris Elbert, email: “Re: NW Interstate Updates at Interstate-guide.com.” March 16, 2005.
  3. http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/GEOENVIRONMENTAL/docs/Historic_Bridge/Willamette_StJohns_Bridge.doc.
  4. http://www.billnaito.com/pages/montgomery.html.

Page updated February 6, 2020.