Economic Development and Highway Right-Sizing: At-Grade Freeway to Boulevard Right-Sizing
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Economic Development and Highway Right-Sizing: At-Grade Freeway to Boulevard Right-Sizing

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    The Harbor Drive to Harbor Boulevard right-sizing project is an example of an at-grade freeway to boulevardright-sizing project that achieved economic development goals of recapturing additional land and revitalization. The project replaced the first limited access freeway in Portland, which had become less important since additional freeways were constructed around the city in the 1960s. The transportation strategy of replacing the freeway with a boulevard and waterfront park was selected by the Riverfront for Citizens coalition, who wished to reclaim the land along the western bank of the Willamette River as park space and to create stronger connectivity between the river and the surrounding neighborhoods. The project was completed in 1978 and created a 37-acre waterfront park from land recaptured from the former footprint of Harbor Drive as well as from demolishing industrial and commercial buildings that bordered the freeway along Front Avenue. Front Avenue was widened into a landscaped boulevard to support local traffic. The boulevard and park that replaced Harbor Drive led to significant new development, including at The Yards at Union Station to the north and RiverPlace to thesouth
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