Answered: Which major local project would you want finished immediately?

We’re sharing readers’ thoughts on the trajectory of development in our city and the importance of various infrastructure improvements.

The sun sets over Portland, Oregon's skyline

We asked, you responded.

Photo by @n11ck_on

Table of Contents

A few weeks ago, we asked “if you could wave a magic wand to instantly finish a major local infrastructure or development project in Portland, which project would you choose and why?”

We’ve divided the selected responses among their corresponding project. Pat yourself on the hard hat, you made some great points.

Replace the Interstate Bridge

“Because it is in terrible shape and does not meet the requirements of today’s travel and will only get worse in the future. Adding a MAX line to it is mandatory!” - Linda C.

“The current bridge is a bottleneck, light rail should be expanded to Vancouver, and we need infrastructure that can survive an earthquake.” - Sarah L.

“Because it will be better to get it replaced before it collapses, killing people and causing a huge mess on both sides of the river.” - Kathy P.

“Have you ever tried to go to Vancouver at 2pm any weekday? It’s a joke.” - Jim G.

Complete the OMSI District

“The east side of the river needs some love and there is huge potential for that site!” - Christina W.

“It would give downtown a new look across the river. Promote jobs and help Portland improve its tarnished reputation showing new growth and positivity.” Diane H.

It has a strong focus on Indigenous Traditional Ecological and Cultural Knowledge.” - Cynthia C.

Finish the Pearl District USPS site

“Because it continues to languish and attract the worst activities when it could be used for housing and become a new neighborhood within a neighborhood.” - Stephen R.

“It’s a MAJOR Huge Property Right Downtown that would create more jobs, living space, retail & restaurants!!!!” - Larry W.

Open UO’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health

“A win for so many people!” - Carol C.

Our children are in crisis. As an educator I see this every day and there are not enough resources out there to help them.” - Sarah M.

“Let’s keep PDX kids healthy and safe as an active step toward reducing addiction and homelessness.” - Martin J.

“Mental health is a big determinant in successful living. Children that need help get the biggest bang for the $.” - Chris L.

“This was a tough choice between behavioral health and the aquatic center. We need to take care of our children. Children who don’t have mental health help become adults with mental health problems. Prevention!!” - Terry C.


Finish Highway 217
“Because although traffic was bad before it’s even worse now and it would be nice to have it finished in a snap. A 15 minute commute to work turns into 45 mins to an hour!” - Amanda S.

Break ground on citywide tent camping sites
It breaks my heart to think of encampments, but I do think it’s the best way to provide safety, sanitation, and healthcare (both physical and mental) to the large groups of unhoused members of our communities.” - Liam W.

Portland State University student and affordable housing
“Because downtown Portland is hurting, and PSU owns 30% of the land and isn’t moving away. Investing in changing the residential/office mix is essential to revitalizing downtown. Makes sense to build on what’s already working- the vibrancy and economic impact of thousands of students, staff and faculty on campus,. There is under-utilized inventory on or near campus that might convert well to affordable housing and student housing.” - Angela J.