Portland Union Station Building and Tracks Improvements
Programmatic Agreement to Resolve Adverse Effects on Historic Properties
Prosper Portland, in coordination with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), is proposing improvements to modernize Portland’s Union Station. The station is a historic property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The goal of the modernization improvements is to meet current building code, life-safety, and seismic standards and to accommodate current and future intercity passenger rail demands (the Project). The Project includes phased improvements to the existing Union Station buildings, the High Shed, the platforms and canopies, and the adjoining track infrastructure. Union Station is located at 800 NW 6th Avenue. The Project area proposed for improvements extends from Union Station south to approximately NW Naito Parkway and north from Union Station to NW 15th Avenue.
ODOT is receiving federal grant funds from FRA, and Prosper Portland is a subgrantee to ODOT, responsible for completing the preliminary design work and an environmental review to assess potential impacts to the human and natural environment that may result from the Project. Currently, no funding has been identified to advance the Project through final design and construction.
As part of the environmental review, Prosper Portland, ODOT, and FRA are evaluating the proposed Project to assess potential adverse effects on historic properties. The environmental evaluation is being conducted in accordance with federal procedures and regulations including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended, and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR Part 800 (Section 106), and Section 4(f) of the US DOT Act of 1966.
Section 106 requires federal agencies to consider the effects of projects they carry out, assist, fund, permit, license, or approve on historic properties. Through the Section 106 review process for the Project to date, FRA has determined, and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) has concurred, that the Project, if constructed, would have adverse effects on four historic elements of Union Station: the Front Yard, the High Shed, the platform canopies, and the Nursery. Prosper Portland, ODOT, and FRA have consulted with interested parties to identify measures that could be used to resolve the adverse effects of the Project on the historic elements of Union Station. The proposed measures are incorporated into a draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement which will be executed among FRA, SHPO, ODOT, and Prosper Portland and which will guide the Project, in terms of consideration of the historic significance of Union Station, as the Project advances over the next 10 years.
Additionally, the Section 106 process provides the public with the opportunity to review and comment on the draft Programmatic Agreement. This process is an important way for residents to lend their voices in protecting and maintaining historic properties in their communities.
From September 30 – October 30, 2019, Prosper Portland, ODOT, and FRA collected feedback regarding the process and the proposed measures to resolve adverse effects that are outlined in the draft Programmatic Agreement. Feedback received will be considered in preparing the final Programmatic Agreement, which is scheduled to be executed in the Spring of 2020.
You can review the draft Programmatic Agreement below:
Appendix A – Project Phasing Concept
Appendix F – Mitigation Treatment Measures