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The regional transit agency is planning to upgrade 19 elevators at a cost of $22 million, beginning at the NE 60th Ave MAX Station.

COURTESY TRIMET - MAX riders can expect to find elevators closed for 12 to 14 weeks while they are being upgraded.TriMet is will soon launch a project to upgrade or replace 19 elevators. The multi-year project is budgeted at $22 million.

The project will include work on heavily-used outdoor elevators along the MAX Blue, Green and Red lines in northeast Portland. It will ensure the elevators remain safe and more reliable far into the future, TriMet says.

The project will require shutting down each elevator for 12 to 14 weeks. Since the elevators at some stations are the only way to get between the platform and street level other than the stairs, TriMet says those riders reliant on the elevator will have to adjust their trips and use another station during the work.

"We apologize to those riders as we know the challenges that may create. We have posted detailed directions on how to navigate around elevator closures and outages at trimet.org/elevators," TriMet said when announcing the project on Tuesday.

The project will begin at the NE 60th Ave MAX Station on May 17. Crews will do a major overhaul, replacing all the components of the elevator cabs including electronics, mechanical and HVAC equipment, and the panels and doors, TriMet says.

Because there is only one elevator between the platform and street level at the NE 60th Ave Station and no ramp, this is one of the locations where some riders will have to adjust their trips.

TriMet's Rider Support team is also available for assistance before and during the elevator closures. The team can be reached seven days a week between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at 503-238-RIDE (7433), on Twitter at @trimethelp or online at trimet.org/contact. Riders can also sign up for elevator-specific alerts by using this link.

30+ years of use

According to TriMet, the elevator at the NE 60th Ave MAX Station has been in service since the MAX Blue Line began service in 1986. More than 1,500 riders board MAX trains at the station each weekday. Because the elevator is outdoors, it is exposed to rain, snow, ice and condensation most of the year. In the summer, the sun has caused the metal to expand.

The NE 60th Ave MAX station is the first of three MAX stations to that will undergo upgrades this year.Next in line are the elevators at the NE 82nd Ave station and the Hollywood/NE 42nd Avenue Transit Center are next in line for renovations this year. They have also been in service since the MAX Blue Line opened. To minimize the impact on riders, TriMet says only one elevator will be renovated at a time.

Three to five elevators will be upgraded each year beginning in 2019.

For more information, go to tinyurl.com/ya2vfyjl.

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