Local light rail plan includes elevated station, pedestrian skybridge
The proposed Southwest Corridor Light Rail's venture into Tigard will be a structural combination of straightaways, elevated tracks, overpasses and underpasses.
On Wednesday, local media got a look at the route the 12-mile route that would begin at the Portland Transit Mall near Portland State University and eventually travel down the middle of Barbur Boulevard before reaching Tigard.
The tour highlighted the proposed route placement as well as locations for light rail stations and park and ride structures. Exact station sites won't be finalized until a final Environmental Impact Statement is approved in 2020.
In May, the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Steering Committee unanimiously approved a portion of the Tigard route, opting for what's known as the LPA at-grade refined crossing as the best way to travel from the Bonita Road area to the end of the route at Bridgeport Village.
Wednesday's tour began at the end of the line at the TriMet park and ride on the south side of Lower Boones Ferry Road in the Bridgeport Village area.
Under proposed plans, that structure could be transformed into a parking garage for light rail riders, according to Jennifer Koozer, TriMet manager of community affairs. However, TriMet is still seeking feedback regarding the sizes and locations of park and ride facilities with input being accepted at trimet.org/swcorridor.
TriMet is also considering the construction of an elevated pedestrian bridge that crosses Lower Boones Ferry Road from the garage on the south to a planned station on the north side of that road.
That station is roughly planned for the area east east/north of the Village Inn restaurant and west of Interstate 5. A final decision on whether to spare the Village Inn restaurant (one of the lone businesses in that area within Tualatin city limits) is still up in the air despite recommendations from TriMet and Metro staffs regarding a route that wouldn't require tearing down the restaurant. Again, the building's fate won't be known until that final Environmental Impact Statement is issued.
Here are some of the general highlights of the Southwest Corridor as it makes its way through Tigard.
• An Upper Boones Ferry Road station would be built at 72nd Avenue that "would have a platform on each side of that road, immediately east of the existing railroad tracks," TriMet officials say.
• An elevated light rail station – the only one along the route – is planned for Bonita Road with elevated tracks that would cross Bonita several thousand feet west of 72nd Avenue. TriMet officials have said "the tracks and station need to be elevated here to span a junction in the existing railroad tracks, the road and creek."
• A Hall Street Station is planned for the general area where Archers Precision, a metal fabrication facility, is now located (near Tigard City Hall). The Hall Street light rail station would have the highest ridership on the line, officials predict. A TriMet maintenance facility is planned around the corner along Hunziker Street.
• From Hunziker, the rail would cross Highway 217, landing it in the Tigard Triangle where the city is actively seeking commercial and retail development under a so-called "lean code" plan.
• A station would be built at Elmhurst Street and a park and ride at 68th Avenue. Business and residential property in that area would likely be needed. However, most property owners who would be affected have been contacted, officials said.
A short distance from 68th Avenue, the tracks will eventually cross to the north side of Highway 99W/Barbur Boulevard as it heads into Portland, which would be accomplished by going under the roadway via a short underpass. From there, an overpass would be built to get light rail across Interstate 5.
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