“A significant public works project will get started as a result of the agreement reached. This improvement will also benefit existing and future business locating to the area where the dispute was based.” ~ Participant, Leadbetter Railroad Overcrossing project
In November 2008, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) contracted with Oregon Consensus to mediate an administrative appeal of an ODOT final order to construct a railroad overcrossing at North Leadbetter Road in Portland, and close the at-grade crossing. In two full-day mediations, thirty-two participants representing eleven affected parties reached an agreement that prevented a contested case hearing, preserved access to local business via the at-grade crossing, and allowed the railroad project to proceed.
The diverse stakeholder group agreed to:
- Proceed with construction of the overcrossing
- Preserve the existing at-grade crossing at this time
- Support permitting of a second line track through the at-grade crossing
- Work together to design and allocate costs for safety upgrades at the Leadbetter at-grade crossing
- Allow, after completion of the second line track and the overcrossing, a variance to rules limiting blockage time of public grade crossings. The variance would include provisions for emergency vehicle and road authority access.
In response to an Oregon Consensus survey, participants expressed strong satisfaction with the collaborative agreement process. A majority of respondents noted that:
- All or most key issues were resolved
- The results of the collaborative process better served the interests of participants than non-collaborative approaches might have
- The collaborative process was less expensive, and the level of expenditure was appropriate.
BNSF Railway Company; Capstone Partners, LLC; City of Portland; Columbia Sportswear Company; Helser Brothers Transfer Company; Multnomah County; Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon Metal Slitters, Inc.; Oregon Transfer Company; Port of Portland
Community and Economic Development Program Manager
Portland State University