New details on SW Corridor MAX stations include Bridgeport
A transit center in Tualatin with room for up to 960 vehicles. A short underpass that dips under Highway 99W as it enters Tigard. An elevated light rail station overlooking Southwest Bonita Road.
All of these features and more are on the list of light rail stations and park-and-rides planned for TriMet's newest MAX line, which could start running as soon as 2027. A draft conceptual design plan for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project was released last week.
Preliminary design plans for the $2.8 billion project call for a total of five park-and-ride locations along the 11-mile light rail line. Two will be located in Portland, two in Tigard and one at the northern edge of Tualatin, in the Bridgeport Village area. In addition, five more rail stations are planned for Tigard.
A major transit center — which will include both a station and a park and ride — is planned at the Bridgeport Village location.
On Thursday, Feb. 6, the community advisory committee for the project will meet to discuss the new plan from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Tigard Public Works auditorium, 8777 S.W. Burnham St.
The conceptual design plan includes details of the stations and park-and-rides in Portland.
As the rail track enters Tigard, heading west along Highway 99W — signed as Southwest Barbur Boulevard in Portland and Southwest Pacific Highway in Washington County — it will dip underneath the highway near Southwest 64th Avenue, re-emerging above ground a short distance later, just west of Southwest Coronado Street.
This will mean a reconfigured intersection at 64th Avenue where pedestrian crossings will be improved, according to the plan.
Some highlights of the Tigard and Tualatin stations:
• The 68th Parkway Station would include a park-and-ride with 350 parking spaces at the corner of Southwest Pacific Highway and 68th Parkway in the Tigard Triangle — a stretch of city bounded by Highway 99W to the north, Highway 217 to the west and south, and Interstate 5 to the east. Tigard has set up a so-called "lean code" in the Triangle to encourage development. The structure would provide a natural amphitheater overlooking Red Rock Creek, according to TriMet engineers.
• The Elmhurst Street Station, in the heart of the Tigard Triangle at Southwest 70th Avenue and Elmhurst Street, would include a light rail bridge that would cross Southwest Dartmouth Street at 70th Avenue. From the Elmhurst station, the rail line will head west toward Highway 217, traveling past the south side of th Walmart Supercenter before an elevated bridge takes it across Highway 217 just north of the current 72nd Avenue overpass.
• The Hall Boulevard Station, on the other side of Highway 217 from the Elmhurst station, will include a park-and-ride with up to 100 vehicle spaces. It will have close access to the Tigard Transit Center and the WES commuter rail, with TriMet officials touting it as a "critical node" for the Southwest Corridor project. Also planned is a TriMet light rail maintenance center just east of Tigard City Hall.
• An elevated station at the intersection of Bonita Road and Southwest 74th Avenue will provide an entry point for the Fanno Creek Trail, making the trail system more accessible to walkers, joggers and bicyclists who don't live nearby. It will be the only elevated station along the route.
• For the Upper Boones Ferry Road station, crossings with gates are planned for both Southwest Upper Boones Ferry Road between Southwest 72nd Avenue and Sequoia Parkway, as well as along 72nd Avenue, just north of Upper Boones Ferry Road.
• The Bridgeport Transit Center will be the end of the route, at least for now, for the proposed project. Plans call for the construction of an elevated pedestrian bridge that would cross Southwest Lower Boones Ferry Road from the transit center — which would include parking on the south side of the roadway — to a planned station on the north side of that road.
"The Bridgeport Transit Center will be more than just a light rail station," states a description of the proposed structure. "It will be an iconic mobility node and visible gateway to those traveling across the region."
Tualatin Mayor Frank Bubenik said he is pleased not only with the fact that current plans refer to the Tualatin stop as a transit center rather than a park-and-ride, but also that there is mention of having up to 960 parking spaces, the maximum amount studied during the draft environmental statement. Recently, Tualatin city leaders had told TriMet it wanted more than only 700 slots in order to make it a regional transportation center.
In addition, Bubenik said he's happy to see TriMet is planning safety improvements to 72nd Avenue to allow pedestrians to safely walk between the station and the Bridgeport Village shopping complex, as well as plans to "address traffic congestion, mobility, and connection to I-5."
Finally, Bubenik said he's pleased to see that a Village Inn restaurant near the proposed stop will be spared from demolition. Early plans had mentioned its possible removal.
Tigard Mayor Jason Snider said his city supports the corridor alignment and, most importantly, that the rail line reaches Bridgeport Village, which is expected to be the most heavily used site of the light rail alignment.
"No one wants more traffic congestion and drive-through commuters in downtown Tigard, so we will limit park-and-ride there and continue to support TriMet's effort to raise the funding necessary to build the project all the way to Bridgeport," said Snider.
At the same time, the Tigard mayor said the city is planning for redevelopment around both stations in downtown Tigard and the Tigard Triangle.
"TriMet needs to think carefully about station layouts that will connect existing and new Tigard residents and workers to clean and healthy transportation options like walking, cycling and light rail," Snider said.
Much of the funding for the MAX line hinges on passage of a Metro transportation bond sent to voters in November. The bond includes $975 million earmarked for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail project.
TriMet recently released showing a video fly-through the proposed route.
Subsequent open houses highlighting the planned route are set for Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway in Portland; Feb. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Tigard Public Library, 13500 S.W. Hall Blvd; March 2, 6 to 8 p.m.,Tualatin Elementary School, 20405 SW 95th Ave, Tualatin.
Also, TriMet is seeking online feedback through March 27 by visiting trimet.org/swcorridor/design.
(This corrects an earlier version of this story.)
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.