Tag: TriMet

MAX Blue Line Revitalize at 102nd

TriMet repair crews will close the MAX Blue Line this weekend between Gateway Transit Center and East 122nd Avenue. Shuttle bus service will transport MAX riders around the closure as workers revitalize tracks between the two stations and a rail crossing at East 102nd Avenue and Burnside Street. Construction will begin on September 23rd and be complete on the 26th. However, the Blue Line disruption and shuttle service will only occur during the weekend on the 24th and 25th.

Operators will adjust the MAX system during the four-day project, running all trains every 20 minutes throughout most of the day. Riders are encouraged to plan their trip ahead of time and check the trains’ location in real-time on trimet.org. Drivers in the area may also anticipate some disruption due to construction on the tracks. During the rail line interruption, extra TriMet staff at select stations will assist riders in making connections. Additional information about this transit disruption is available on the TriMet website.

I84 Closure at I205 Starting Sept. 23rd

TriMet construction crews will close a 1.5-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in both directions near the Interstate 205 interchange this weekend. The closure will begin on Friday night at 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, barricades will block access to the NE 102nd Avenue on-ramp to I-84 west and the I-84 east Exit 7 Halsey/99nd Avenue off-ramp. This work supports the A Better Red project currently underway near the Gateway Transit Center.

The closures of I-84 will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the weekend shutdown, crews will continue building a new light rail bridge over the freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

Drivers expecting to use I-84 should plan an alternate route between the evening of September 23rd and the morning of September 26th. Commuters should also anticipate more congestion than usual on I-205 as people detour around the closure. Buses will run regular service while construction takes place and offer an effective alternate travel method during the closure. While the traffic disruption will not affect transit service, some trips may take longer due to other work on the MAX Blue Line in Gresham. Additional information is available on the TriMet website.

A SE Division Party on Saturday

TriMet will host a grand opening celebration for the new FX2-Division bus line this Saturday. Activities will span three festival locations in SE Portland and Gresham. Each site features entertainment, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Attendees can take unlimited free rides on the new articulated FX buses along the route between noon and 6 p.m. on September 17th. The new service begins regular operation on Sunday the 18th, offering high-capacity and fast bus service along Division Street. Montavilla residents should arrive to the event at the SE 82nd and Division stop near Portland Community College, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue.

Raimore Construction partnered with TriMet for this Grand Opening Celebration. The construction company is the prime contractor for TriMet’s Division Transit Project. As a minority-owned firm, this project represents the largest contract awarded to a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Oregon. It is a notable success for the City’s Inclusive Contracting initiatives.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left. April 3, 2021

TriMet posted full schedules for each event location on its website. Guests are encouraged to take the bus between each celebration site at OMSI Station, PCC Station, and the Gresham Farmers’ Market. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a giant “paint-by-numbers” mural project. Event coordinators placed sections of the mural project at each of the three event sites. Cascade Behavioral Health building on SE 42nd and Division will host the completed public art project.

Attendees should plan a long day exploring SE Division Street and experiencing the new FX bus service. Drivers in the area should anticipate a change in bus operation beginning tomorrow as the new extended transit platforms go into service with more frequent service. Bus riders not attending the events should plan for higher than usual usage of the number 2 bus route. However, the new higher-capacity vehicles should accommodate the surge in demand.


Title images courtesy of TriMet

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Board for a group partnering with TriMet on this event.

Remembering Former Metro Councilor Bob Stacey

Robert E. Stacey, Montavilla’s elected representative on the Metro Council for over eight years, died September 8th at the age of 72. He resigned from his position a year ago due to further complications from a health condition. Metro Council appointed Duncan Hwang, a Director at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), to the vacant 6th District seat in January. Councilor Hwang recently secured 68.7 percent of the vote during the 2022 primaries, allowing him to serve out the reaming years of Councilor Stacey’s term.

Bob Stacey came to Metro Council after a long career serving Oregon. His early work with 1000 Friends of Oregon secured the urban growth boundary, protecting farms and forests by limiting an endless suburban sprawl. He led Portland’s planning bureau from 1989 to 1993, and as an executive at TriMet, he helped plan the MAX Yellow and Red lines. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the MAX Orange Line at SE 14th Avenue do so via the Bob Stacey Overcrossing, named in his honor for decades of service to Portland. Stacey’s impact across the State was impressive, and the programs he supported within this neighborhood are ongoing.

Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. Most residents will associate his local efforts with the affordable housing project underway at 432 NE 74th Ave. However, councilor Duncan Hwang recounted several other impactful projects that his predecessor brought to the community. “Councilor Stacey did so much for livability for the entire region but also worked directly on projects in Montavilla, including advocating for the jurisdictional transfer of 82nd Ave to the City of Portland, improving neighborhood connectivity through the Jade Montavilla Multimodal Improvements Project, and was a particular champion of the Jade District and APANO’s work in developing affordable housing and community spaces.”

Although holding an elected position, Bob Stacey focused more on his work for the community instead of building name recognition. Representative Earl Blumenauer expressed that sentiment after Stacey’s passing. “Oregon just lost the most important person that most people never heard of.” Despite the lack of public recognition for his work, those who continue his efforts recognize that they stand on his shoulders and vow to follow Stacy’s example of civic leadership. “Oregon lost a true leader, and I hope to carry on his vision for our region and legacy of public service as his successor at Metro,” stated Councilor Hwang.


Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro

Additional Resources:

NE 97th Avenue LID Grid Restoration

Next summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will begin a multi-year project to reconnect portions of the City’s street grid east of Interstate 205. This work will slice up several long blocks, opening the way for new housing developments emphasizing walking, Biking, and public transportation. The project will span from NE 94th Avenue to NE 100th Avenue, with work occurring in two phases.

PBOT intends to begin Phase 1 work in mid-2023, completing sidewalk infill on NE 97th Avenue. Previous developments and public works projects added modern road infrastructure to NE 97th from NE Glisan Street to NE Davis Street. Crews will continue that work south to E Burnside Street. That area currently lacks curbs and sidewalks. This phase will also improve conditions on E Burnside Street from 94th Avenue to 97th Avenue. Portions of the sidewalk and road surface have deteriorated, particularly near the TriMet Max tracks that cross the westbound lane.

E Burnside Street at 94th Avenue Looking east

Planned for the Summer of 2024, Phase 2 of the project has a greater impact on the local streetscape. This work will create new streets and require significant private land dedication to complete. PBOT crews will build new segments of NE Couch Street from NE 97th to 99th avenues and NE Davis Street from NE 97th to 100th avenues. The project’s scope includes new streets, sidewalks, and stormwater improvements.

NE 97th Avenue and NE Couch / Davis LIDs from Portland Maps

As a Local Improvement District (LID), property owners will supply funding for this $15 million project with tax increment financing (TIF) from the Gateway Urban Renewal Area and a transportation system development charge (TSDC). PBOT will cover overhead costs incurred by managing this project.

Developer Joe Westerman and his companies own the majority of the affected properties in the LID. That concentrated ownership likely helped drive the City’s efforts to reconnect streets and will allow a significant change in road use. Although near the I205 Multi-use Path, this section of Portland is challenging to navigate outside of a car. Long blocks force pedestrians onto busy roadways and extend walking distances as people double back to reach a destination. Walkable and bike-able streets near public transit reduce the number of parking spaces needed, allowing for larger developments that maximize land usage and housing density.

NE 97th Avenue at NE Davis Street looking towards E Burnside

In 2019, this area received a surge in development interest, with one project at the corner of E Burnside Street and NE 97th Avenue receiving design approval. Other projects stalled in the Early Assistance phase of development, including a six-story building with 77 units. These planned improvements could help reignite developer interest in this area and spur a new wave of housing construction. Look for road crews to begin work next summer and prepare for new streets in 2024.

East Montavilla Sanborn Map 1928

Westbound I-84 Closures in June

Starting June 22nd, TriMet crews will close a segment of westbound Interstate 84 overnight to support work on the A Better Red project underway near the Gateway Transit Center. Each night the roadway will close to vehicles from 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. The evening work will continue through June 30th, with a full weekend closure from the 24th to the 27th. People driving west on I-84 are advised to take southbound Interstate 205 as an alternate route. Drivers can merge back onto I-84 past the Gateway area.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

The two-mile closures of I-84 west, near I-205, will facilitate further construction of a new MAX light rail bridge. During the weekend shutdown, crews will drill a 102-foot-deep shaft next to I-84, providing access to a stable anchor point for the bridge’s foundation. The column constructed on the new foundation is a critical support structure for the 500-foot span. Two construction cranes and other heavy equipment are already on-site and positioned to aid workers with their activities planned for the end of the month.

Once completed, the bridge will add another set of tracks to carry MAX Red Line trains through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. A new multi-use path leading to the Gateway Green Park is planned for the bridge, alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the park more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Multi-use path leading to the Gateway Green Park. Image courtesy TriMet

People interested in knowing more about TriMet’s A Better Red project can attend the June 13th Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting at 6:30 p.m. At that event, Trimet’s Community Affairs Coordinator, Libby Winter, will present information regarding the light rail project and related construction closures. Additionally, people can subscribe to email updates regarding the project at trimet.org/betterred.

TriMet encourages motorists to plan an alternate route in advance of the work and expect traffic to be heavier than usual during the closures. Transit staff do not anticipate bus and MAX service disruption during this work. As the dates get closer, users of this section of westbound I-84 should check the TriMet project website for updates and changes.


Weekday overnight closures

  • 10 p.m. Wednesday June, 22 to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 23.
  • 10 p.m. Thursday June, 23 to 4 a.m. Friday June, 24.
  • 10 p.m. Monday June 27 to 4 a.m. Tuesday June 28.
  • 10 p.m. Tuesday June 28 to 4 a.m. Wednesday June 29.
  • 10 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday June 30.

Weekend closures

  • 10 p.m. Friday, June 24 to 4 a.m. Monday, June 27

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board.

Obscured 11 Townhouse Development

A planned development at 2321 SE 89th Avenue will add eleven new townhouses behind an existing single-family residence. The Land Use Review application indicates the property could soon support twelve homes with the new two-story units tucked behind the original single-story house built-in 1927. A five-food-wide paved walkway would lead to the townhouses from the street.

Additional onsite parking does not appear to be part of the application. However, the property is located 500 feet from SE Division Street, where the new TriMet FX 2-Division bus service will offer fast and frequent transportation. SE 89th Avenue is also a bike-friendly street with speed bumps to maintain slower automotive traffic.

This project provides near maximum density to the property while retaining the nearly 100-year-old home. Although the new construction is not invisible from the street, the design works to obscure the new townhomes from sight and maintain the visual continuity for the neighbors. If the land use is approved, the developers will need to secure building permits. The permitting process can take months to complete. Consequentially, work may wait until winter or sometime in 2023.

I-84 East Exit 7 Closure

Starting May 8th, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 84 East Halsey/99th Ave off-ramp. This temporary closure allows TriMet construction crews the needed workspace to install support piers for a new MAX bridge over the freeway. Project managers expect to reopen Exit 7 to eastbound I-84 drivers on June 24th, 2022.

Work performed over the next two months will create the support structure for a new MAX Red Line bridge over I-84, located just east of Interstate 205. The bridge will provide pedestrian and bike access to the Gateway Green park and add a second track to the single-track rail system in the area. This project is part of the TriMet Better Red initiative to extend the MAX Red Line westward to serve ten more stations. Additionally, crews will install bidirectional rails in places with share tracks, speeding up the whole system.

TriMet suggests a detour onto Exit 6 towards I-205 South during the off-ramp closure and then use the Glisan Street/Stark Street exit. Drivers will follow NE Glisan east to NE 99th Avenue. Plan accordingly for this closure by using the ODOT TripCheck.com website for route information and updates. Better Red crews will continue their work in the area until its completion in 2024.

Car Collides with McDonald’s Again

Last night, a vehicle jumped the curb and collided with the McDonald’s restaurant at 8149 SE Stark Street. Portland Police received the hit and run report at 9:43 p.m. A KOIN 6 News report indicates the driver “was doing donuts” before crashing into the building.

Remnants of the TriMet-owned bench

The car missed a number 72 bus shelter along SE 82nd Avenue and avoided a nearby City trash can. However, the vehicle destroyed a TriMet-owned bench before traveling through the building’s wall. Tables and an interior support column prevented the car from crossing more than a few feet into the store. According to a McDonald’s employee, no staff working that night suffered injuries due to this incident.

Inside McDonald’s showing damaged column and sheared off table posts

A similar crash occurred at this same restaurant last year. As with that incident, Police identified unsafe driving as the cause of the wreck. Damage created by yesterday’s event appears to be less significant than the 2021 collision. However, the building will require extensive repairs. Expect to see crews mending the building within the next few months.

Better Red work is Reshaping Upper Gateway Green

Update – Starting this week, pedestrians and bicyclists have a new detour when traveling on the I205 Multi-use Path. Construction crews erected a chainlink fence and laid new asphalt, creating a short loop around the active construction zone. Development plans for the path include a slight pavement diversion around support structures holding up the new overhead TriMet Red Line track. This temporary “C” shaped I205 Multi-use Path turnout should remain in place while the Redline Bridge construction is underway. Use caution in the Gateway Green area as this pathway shares space with construction vehicles and workers.


Original article published February 22nd, 2022

In September 2021, TriMet contractors closed the south end of the Gateway Green bike park as part of a light-rail expansion project. The work connects a second track leading from the airport to the Gateway Transit Center for MAX Red Line service. This project will also add a new entry point for the park with several updated amenities. The closure will continue through construction, ending in late 2024.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Dubbed A Better Red, the project extends the MAX Red Line west to serve ten more stations and adds an extra track to single-track portions of the rail network, allowing for simultaneous bidirectional travel. The rail line expansion at the Portland International Airport can occur directly adjacent to the existing track. However, the land near the Gateway Transit Center is more constrained.

Due to the current track’s proximity to I205, TriMet needed a new path for the second track. The solution chosen by planners sends southbound light-rail cars over the northbound tracks and through the Gateway Green Park. Consequentially, TriMet needs to construct two overpasses. One will take the Red Line above the northbound tracks and the I205 Multi-use bike and pedestrian path. Then another overpass bridge will cross I84, leading into the Transit Center.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

The current I205 Multi-use trail will need to reroute slightly between bridge supports as it travels underneath the new Red Line tracks. That bridge work is underway with an expected path closure during overhead bridge installation work.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Although the work inside the park is extensive, only two trails and the south entrance to the park are off-limits to visitors. Currently, construction material and equipment block the upper sections of Linda’s Line trail and Rebar Ridge trail. However, crews will extend both courses into a new high-point trailhead when the project completes. Parkgoers will access that amenity from a paved south entry plaza. Thanks to a pathway created alongside the Red Line’s I84 crossing, the south entry to Gateway Green will become the predominant entry point to the park.

When complete, Gateway Green will be more accessible to all types of users while enhancing the MAX service to the airport. The majority of the park will remain open during construction. Visitors should anticipate seeing construction-related activities around the property with the occasional detour along the I205 Multi-use Path.