Portland’s renowned regional public transportation system, TriMet, is preparing to expand -- again -- with plans for the sixth MAX light rail line nearing completion. The new line will extend south from Portland to nearby Milwaukie, Ore., and neighboring Clackamas County.
The project includes a one-of-a-kind bridge across the Willamette River just south of downtown for light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future streetcar extension. Scheduled for completion in 2015, this will be the first new bridge in Portland (affectionately called Bridgetown by some) in more than 40 years. Currently, 10 bridges span the Willamette River in or near Portland’s center. Construction on the new car-less bridge is expected to begin in July with a “waterbreaking” ceremony on June 30.
The new line will create a light rail alignment that travels 7.3 miles, connecting Portland State University in downtown Portland; inner Southeast Portland; Milwaukie; and north Clackamas County. The project itself will create up to 14,000 jobs and generate up to $573 million in personal earnings. By 2030, the new line is expected to serve 28,000 households and provide as many as 25,000 rides per day. See an in-depth video on the expansion here.