Portland’s Red Line project lands federal construction grant

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A groundbreaking for TriMet’s Red Line extension project will happen later this week.

The U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a construction grant award of $99.9 million to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) for “A Better Red,” the MAX Red Line Extension and Reliability Improvements Project in the Portland metro area.

The 7.8-mile Red Line extension will help connect Beaverton, Portland International Airport, and the Gateway Transit Center, providing a frequent, reliable and low-carbon transportation option to more users, including a one-seat ride from Hillsboro to Portland International Airport.

“This project will better connect people in the Portland metro to jobs, education, services and health care—and of course, to the airport” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

“FTA is proud to join our partners in Oregon to expand light-rail service and improve transit connections in Portland and other important destinations,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.

Fernandez will join TriMet and other state and local officials at a groundbreaking event for the project on Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Portland, Ore.

The total project cost is $215 million with $99.9 million in funding provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

The project includes track, switch, and signalization work that will allow the MAX Red Line to serve 10 additional stations that currently are served only by the Blue Line, and adds an operator break facility at the Red Line’s new terminus in Hillsboro. The project adds a second track to two single-track sections of the Red Line, where existing bottlenecks impact schedule reliability for the entire interconnected light-rail system. With the second track, the project will rebuild the Portland International Airport MAX Station and construct and a new station at the Gateway/NE 99th Ave. Transit Center. To accommodate the increased service, the project includes four new light-rail vehicles.

FTA’s CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.

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