PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – People living in the Soul District of northeast Portland gathered Friday to protest a proposed expansion project.

The $500 million project would widen Interstate 5 near Harriet Tubman Middle School.

People against the expansion say it would hurt the state’s climate change goals and are proposing a high-speed rail that would travel from the Rose Quarter to Vancouver.

“You know, $500 million in expense to widen a freeway that historically hasn’t worked and any other widening process is kinda an excessive reality when we have all other kinds of difficulties going on in our district,” John Washington with the Soul District Business Association said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says the project would include several improvements, such as bridge upgrades and a new bicycle and pedestrian crossing. They believe the project will reduce crashes and save drivers about two-and-a-half million hours of delay each year.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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