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Crews completed the Steel Bridge improvements in 28 days. Photo – TriMet

(Source: Progressive Railroading 09/01/2020)

This past weekend, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) completed improvements to the 108-year-old Steel Bridge on the MAX line.

The project marked the end of the agency’s biggest light-rail revitalization effort in 34 years and represented an important accomplishment in continuing to maintain reliable MAX service, TriMet officials said in a press release.

The bridge project took 28 full days to complete, amounting to 672 hours of demolition, construction and testing work. One of the busiest crossings on the Willamette River, the Steel Bridge typically is used by more than 600 MAX trains a day.

Crews rebuilt the light-rail system across the bridge by replacing 8,680 feet of rail, lift joints and expansion rails. Workers also replaced two switch sections — including the system’s most-used switches — and installed an upgraded signal system.

Now, there should be fewer issues that could slow or disrupt MAX service, TriMet officials said. Plus, the rail and track bed improvements will provide a smoother ride for passengers, they added.

In fall, TriMet expects to begin improvements to the end of the MAX Blue Line in Gresham, Oregon. The work will complete the second phase of the Gresham MAX Improvements project that started last year.

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