Photo Credit: COURTESY OF TRIMET - Consruction on the MAX platforms at the Sunset Transit Center wraps up two days early. The MAX station at TriMet’s Sunset Transit Center will reopen Wednesday morning, two days ahead of schedule.

A platform improvement project had shut down both sides of the MAX platform down since Wednesday, Sept. 3. This phase of the project was originally supposed to be completed on Friday. It will now open on Sept. 17 because the contractor was able to finish the work quicker than planned.

The work was necessary because tiles on the platform had come loose and some had even fallen off. They were all removed and replaced with solid concrete, including a new type of tactile strip to warn the passengers when they are walking too close to the edge of the platforms.

Passengers will also see the foundation for equipment for TriMet’s future electronic fare system at the station.

Stair and elevator access to both the eastbound and westbound MAX platforms will return to normal at the west end of the station on wednesday. The east stairs will remain closed for the last phase of the improvement project, however.

Multi-phased project replaces platforms

The Sunset Transit Center MAX Station opened in 1998. The platforms are located well below ground level and, according to TriMet, water drainage issues washed away grout that secured the platform tiles to the platform, leading to cracks and loose tiles. TriMet says that pressure washing, a common cause of grout problems, did not cause or aggravate the problem at this or any other MAX station.

The new platform is made using materials that will be more durable. Crews also made adjustments to the grade.

The multi-phased project began on July 2. To minimize inconveniences on our riders, phase one work was done on the back half of the east and westbound platforms. Crews worked in the overnight hours to saw cut and remove portions of the existing platforms.

During phase two — the phase that required the platforms to close — TriMet and the general contractor, Brown Contracting, Inc., removed the remaining sections of the platforms, and poured new foundations and cast-in-place platforms and tactile edges.

The parking garage remained open during work, and all regular bus service also continued. TriMet used shuttle buses to ferry MAX passengers to the closest rail stations until it was completed.

The total project cost is $1.7 million.

Phase three: Sept. 17 to Oct. 31

During the next phase of the project, crews will be cutting architectural score joints, installing payphones, and wrapping up other items.

All MAX and bus service will be maintained during this last phase.

Stairs and elevators will continue to provide access to the platforms on the west end. The stairs on the east end remain closed.

All of the work is part of a maintenance plan approved by the TriMet board of directors now that the economy has improved and the agency's financial picture is brighter than during the Great Recession.

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