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Plan to bury I-5 back on city's drawing board

The long-debated idea of moving Interstate 5 in Portland’s inner-east side is back on the table.

Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has sketched a conceptual design for burying part of I-5 and routing it through a tunnel, to reclaim access and spur development in and around the Willamette riverfront on the east side.

At Mayor Sam Adams’ behest, the conceptual design for what’s known as the I-5 Eastbank Freeway Tunnel comes up for discussion before the Portland City Council on Wednesday.

The design is very preliminary, and there’s no current engineering, traffic analysis or budget for the massive construction project. But the city wants to keep the idea alive as it adopts a series of plans for how the central part of the city should develop by 2035, as part of its comprehensive plan update.