I-205 Improvements Project Improves Safety, and Creates Earthquake-Ready Bridges, and Business Opportunities

Posted: Tuesday - February 8, 2022
Image of the Women Leading the I-205 Improvements Project

The I-205 Improvements Project is currently seeking contractor bids to construct the first phase of the project, creating an earthquake-ready Abernethy Bridge and improving safety and operations in the area for those who drive, walk and roll. There is a 14% Disadvantaged Business Enterprises construction goal on this phase of the project which will result in approximately $35-40 million in contracts for certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Businesses with this certification are small businesses that are at least 51% owned by:

  • People who identify as Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific Islander or Subcontinental Asian
  • Women and other individuals on a case-by-case basis

One strategy we used to position these businesses for success on this project is by hosting virtual “Meet the Primes” matchmaking events to prepare prime contractors and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for the bidding process. We are also asking the project contractor to provide small business capacity strengthening, technical assistance and performance metrics to track their work with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise community.

In addition to supporting small businesses, the project is participating in a pilot program under the Federal Highway Administration to increase workforce development opportunities with local hiring preferences in economically distressed zip codes in Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Economically distressed zip codes experience lower income levels, lower education levels, and lower employment levels. We expect 8% of the total 1.1-1.5 million labor hours will be from residents of identified zip codes, resulting in over 100,000 hours of career-building work. Read more about the project’s workforce and business opportunities

In addition, the project has established diversity goals. Five percent of workforce hours must be performed by members of any federally recognized tribe throughout the nation as part of ODOT’s agreement with the Council of Tribal Employment Rights.   Aspirational targets are also provided to the contractor for 20% of hours to be worked by minorities and 14% by females. The project will also help develop a career pipeline for local workforce through a goal of 20% of hours worked by those in apprenticeship programs.

We will bring the contractor on board this spring and construction should be underway by early summer 2022. Once the first phase of construction is complete, travelers on I-205 will experience an earthquake ready Abernethy Bridge and improved OR 43 and OR 99E interchanges.

Everyone who travels on I-205 in the project area is encouraged to sign up for project updates via email or text message to learn about upcoming meetings and events and stay up to date on construction activities once it begins.