PORTLAND-A team of developers and city officials say that Mayor Vera Katz’s dream of capping Interstate 405–often referred to as the ditch through downtown–and topping it with office buildings, apartment buildings and open space is a “sound and feasible” one.

Indeed, the report says that with $10 million, the city could cap two-and-a-half blocks of the freeway with a very wide, very thick bridge in just five years time. The best spot to start, the report suggests, is with the blocks between Alder and Taylor Streets. It would not only be close to existing light rail lines, but also close to Civic Stadium, the new Downtown streetcar line and the burgeoning Pearl District.

The $10 million in public money is needed because the value of the land created–about $2.5 million a block, according to the study–would be offset by construction costs of $6.4 million a block. An urban renewal district or a local improvement district are possible funding mechanisms, according to the study.

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