Why design enhancements?
As part of the interchange project’s earlier environmental process, the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) established the aesthetics goal of the project, which is to: “Create a gateway entrance to Woodburn.” The EA also states that ODOT will “Design gateway intersections at I-5 as community enhancement areas with features appropriate to community urban design goals.”
In response, the Woodburn City Council appointed a 13-member Aesthetic Advisory Panel (Panel) to work with the design team to develop design enhancements that will make the Woodburn Interchange stand out among other Willamette Valley I-5 interchanges. During the fall and winter 2011, the panel met to discuss design themes and evaluate various treatments for the interchange including special lighting and landscaping. The panel also provided feedback on the look of noise walls, streetscape and stormwater retention facilities. The community-led vision for the overall gateway package was selected by consensus of the panel members at their April 4, 2012 meeting.
(Click images to enlarge)
The Gateway package was supported by consensus by the panel due to its earth tone colors; connection to the hills of the Willamette Valley; open, unique, modern design; use of lighting and ease of maintenance. The panel felt that the design provides a more open, friendly pedestrian experience across the bridge and also offers a unique bridge for travelers to pass under while traveling along I-5. The panel recommended aesthetic upgrades to adjacent intersections, sound walls and stormwater retention facilities that are all part of the project in order to make them integral to the redesigned interchange. The panel took full advantage of the opportunity to create a community asset by conceiving aesthetic upgrades which are not normally included on interchanges.
The design proposal recommended by the panel was approved by the City Council on June 11, 2012.