Remember the old Glencullen Freeway, the Sellwood Freeway or the old Laurelhurst Freeway? If you're scratching your head, you need to read the historic article below from Portland's past...
The Oregonian - Wednesday - June 29, 1955 - Front Page
PLAN GIVEN FOR TRAFFIC OF FUTURE - HIGHWAY ENGINEER SUBMITS REPORT TO COMMISSION
By Mervin Shoemaker - Political Writer, The Oregonian
A comprehensive plan for handling the 150 percent motor traffic increase expected for the Portland Metropolitan area by 1975 was revealed Tuesday in a report to the State Highway Commission by Chief Engineer R.H. Baldock. The basic plan would use 14 expressways, 14 freeways and 24 major streets. Five new bridges would be built and two would be widened. The proposed 96 miles of freeway would cost $275,000,000. Proposed expressways -- 74 miles -- would cost $53,000.000.
Program Involves 121 Miles
The major street program, totaling 121 miles, would cost $43,000,000. according to Baldock's estimates. Bridge cost estimates were not given, and no finance plan was suggested. The Harbor Drive Freeway, and the Portland-Salem and Banfield Freeways, abuilding, can be considered part of the 20 year plan, but Baldock indicated no expectation of an early beginning for many of the more important improvements in the metropolitan traffic pattern. "This may not even be the final plan," he said. "But it is something to begin thinking about." The report said approximately $40,000,000. of the projected $371,000,000. total cost of the 20 year plan has been provided or will be available in the next two years.
Five Bridges Listed
The five new bridges and widening of two others, called for in the plan would provide 64 lanes for the 544,000 cars a day of trans-Willamette River traffic expected in 1975, compared to the present 33 lanes of traffic and 247,000 vehicles per day using the present nine river crossings in 1954. The proposed new bridges are designated as Fremont, Mt. Hood, Sellwood, Oswego and Oregon City-West Linn. The two bridges that would be widened are Ross Island and the projected new Morrison Bridge. One of the most drastic proposed changes would be effected by acquiring the Public Auditorium and using part of the site for right-of way for Sunset Freeway, which would pass through a tunnel under S.W. Vista Avenue just South of S.W. Jefferson Street, and cross the Williamette on the proposed Mt. Hood Bridge.
Charts Accompany Report
The report is accompanied by charts showing which Portland Streets are most congested at present, and how the traffic flow would be smoothed by combining radial and grid network systems. The radial system would be to carry traffic between the downtown area and points toward the periphery, and the grid network would provide routes for cross-town traffic. The name of the Banfield Expressway (Sullivan's Gulch) would be changed to Banfield Freeway under this plan, because of the definitions given for those two types of thoroughfare. A freeway, says the report has completely controlled access, no crossings at grade, no left turns, no signals and no parking. An expressway has partially controlled access, some intersections at grade, left turns provided for with left-turn refugee lanes, and no parking.
(Page 33) BALDOCK PROPOSED CENTERS ON CITY FREEWAY SYSTEM
The freeway system is considered the "backbone" of the 20 year program outlined in a study report of the Portland Metropolitan area's traffic needs which was turned over to the State Highway Commission Tuesday by Chief Engineer, R.H. Baldock. The expressway system is considered to complement the freeway system, while the major street system inter-ties the freeways and expressways with other arterial streets. The projected freeways are:
Banfield Freeway (now called Banfield Expressway) -- Will be completed this Fall from Fairview on the East to N.E. 42nd Avenue, and on to the Willamette River by 1958. It travels through Sullivan's Gulch within the city.
Harbor Drive Freeway (now called Harbor Drive Expressway) -- Simultaneous with conversion of S.W. Harbor Drive to a freeway would come construction of the Clay-Market and Columbia-Jefferson connections. Cross traffic at grade would be eliminated. There would be a two level viaduct section between the Morrison and Hawthorne Bridges adjacent to The Journal Building. There would be direct connecting ramps between Harbor Drive northbound and Burnside Bridge eastbound.
Portland-Salem -- This construction would complete the northerly link. It would be connected with the Sellwood Freeway and Multnomah Expressway.
Mt. Hood -- This freeway would start as a continuation of the Sunset Freeway (U.S. 26) with a new bridge across the Willamette. It would bisect the southeast portion of Portland. It would provide a connection between Harbor Drive Freeway and the proposed Laurelhurst Freeway.
Sunset -- This would be a continuation of the Sunset Highway through a tunnel under S.W. Vista Avenue, just South of S.W. Jefferson Street, and a depressed freeway between the Clay-Market Street one-way couplet to the Harbor Drive Freeway and connecting to a proposed bridge across the Willamette River.
Industrial -- The Industrial Freeway approximates the location of N.W. Front Avenue throughout most of its length. It will connect with the proposed Stadium Freeway.
Delaware -- This freeway would connect with the U.S. 99 Freeway in Vancouver, and would cross the Columbia by the Interstate Bridge and a companion bridge yet to be built. It travels along part of N. Interstate Avenue and connects with Harbor Drive Freeway at N. Tillamook Street.
Stadium Freeway -- Expected to be one of the more heavily traveled freeways. This thoroughfare would be elevated and would have approximately the location of S.W. 18th Avenue north of the Sunset Freeway. It would then cross the Willamette River on a two-level, eight-lane suspension bridge.
Fremont -- This freeway, at about the location of N.E. Klickitat Street, would care for east-west traffic and would relieve Banfield Freeway when the latter becomes congested.
Laurelhurst -- The Laurelhurst Freeway would traverse the central East side residential area of Portland on an approximate location of 39th Avenue, although the report states it could be anywhere between 25th and 45th Avenues.
East Bank -- The East Bank Freeway would be along the approximate location of the East harbor line of the Willamette River, intercepting four of the existing bridges and one proposed bridge, and would go either under or over the Burnside Bridge. It would be mostly an elevated roadway.
Cascade -- This freeway would extend from N.E. Marine Drive southward along 82nd Avenue to Gladstone. It would serve as a Portland bypass, and would give Oregon City and other southern points a direct route to Portland International Airport.
Sellwood -- This freeway would connect southwest Portland with southeast Portland along a line at approximately the location of the present Sellwood Bridge. Coupled with the proposed Multnomah Expressway and the Johnson Creek Expressway, it would give a continuous crosstown route South of the central portion of the city.
Glencullen -- This Freeway would connect rapidly growing area southwest of Portland with one-way street coupled connecting to the West side central business district and to the Ross Island Bridge and Harbor Drive Freeway. It would travel through a tunnel under Marquam Hill and Council Crest.