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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

TriMet holds open houses for Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project

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TriMet in Portland, Ore., is hosting two open houses to provide an update on the status of project planning, funding and design of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project.

At the open houses, there will be opportunities to:

• Review the draft Conceptual Design Report, which documents design progress for the light rail alignment and station areas

• Learn about the project's potential impacts and proposed mitigations

• Review and comment on the Section 4(f) Evaluation with Proposed Findings of De Minimis Impacts to Public Parks and Historic Properties. The Section 4(f) evaluation addresses a federal regulation protecting parks, historic resources and nature refuges. The latest evaluation identifies additional resources that would have minor impacts with the light rail project: the Eastside Willamette River Greenway Trail, the Springwater Trail, Westmoreland Park and two historic homes.

The open houses will be held Feb. 22 and 25.

Before construction can start on the Portland-Milwaukie project, planning and design of the trackway, stations and multi-use bridge must be completed. In March 2009, the Federal Transit Administration approved TriMet's entry into Preliminary Engineering for the project. This approval allows TriMet to bring the project design from 10 to 30 percent, with costs related to the design work paid for by the project. The PE phase of the project will be complete in March 2010. Final design is expected to begin in fall 2010.

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project will travel 7.3 miles, connecting Portland State University in downtown Portland, inner Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and north Clackamas County. MAX service on the alignment is scheduled to begin in 2015. By 2030, the line is expected to provide up to 27,400 weekday rides, and there will be approximately 22,000 households and 85,000 employees within walking distance of Portland-Milwaukie light rail stations. A new, multi-use transit bridge over the Willamette River will be a major feature of the project.