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The work on Blue Line rails and related equipment lasted for nine days, from May 15-23.

COURTESY PHOTO: TRIMET - Maintenance work on the MAX Blie Line.TriMet's nine-day project to rebuild rail lines on the MAX system in Northeast Portland was completed over the weekend and regular operations resumed at the start of service on Monday, May 24.

According to TriMet, the work completed a series of maintenance projects on the light rail system that began earlier this spring. The latest work, which began on May 15, rebuilt a stretch of rail near I-84 under the Northeast 33rd Avenue overpass. It will boost the overall reliability of the MAX system and improve the riding experience for riders. Around 40 contractors and 20 TriMet staff worked around the clock to rebuild the trackway to make it a smooth and dependable ride.

The work completed a series of related projects across the MAX Blue Line, including the replacement of rail crossings at both the northern and southern ends of the Gateway Transit Center, as well as rail maintenance work performed in April between East 122nd Avenue and Civic Drive.

The light rail system running along 1-84 carries three MAX lines, with trains able to go full speed around the curved section that was just replaced. It is also among our oldest sections of track, so replacing it add to the system's longevity.

TriMet said that, while ridership remains down roughly 60% from where it was during pre-pandemic levels, there have been more riders returning as restaurants and sporting events reopen.

Project at a glance: May 15-23

• Crews replaced around 2,600 feet of rail, some of which included parts of the original MAX Blue Line that began service in 1986.

• For improved durability, around 500 wooden crossties were replaced by versions made of concrete.

• The rail crossings where TriMet buses drive over tracks at the northern end of the Gateway Transit Center were replaced, which will create a smoother ride for bus passengers.

• TriMet used the shutdown as an opportunity to clean up litter along the tracks near the stations that were closed.

• Stations between the Gateway Transit Center and Northeast 7th Avenue were deep cleaned.

• Crews also replaced two switch machines at the Gateway Transit Center.


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