‘Better Red’ Work to Enhance TriMet MAX System

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The special track work component to be installed during the disruption.

TriMet has announced an upcoming 21-day disruption of MAX Blue, Green and Red lines, which will see rail construction and rehabilitation work, along with other improvements, stretch from the Gateway Transit Center to NE 7th Ave.

The project will close the five-mile section of the MAX system from April 16 through May 6, with shuttle buses serving closed stations.

During peak hours, shuttle buses will depart every five minutes from the closed stations. MAX Green and Red Line trains will not travel west of the Gateway Transit Center during the disruption. Riders should take the MAX Blue Line between NE 7th Avenue and Beaverton, as well as the MAX Orange and Yellow lines in Downtown Portland. There will be no disruptions to the MAX Orange and Yellow lines or bus service during the disruption, a release said. 

There will be 15 projects underway at the same time, the largest of which will be the installation of special track work at the Gateway/NE 99th Ave Transit Center. The special track work component of the Better Red MAX Extension and Reliability Improvements Project will play a critical role in moving MAX Red Line trains through the new light rail configuration being built in and around the Gateway Transit Center once work is completed in 2024.

TriMet will also use the three-week closure to finish maintenance at the Hollywood/NE 42nd Ave Transit Center and a curved section of track at NE 43rd Ave. These sections of the original MAX system, built in 1986, run along I-84. When trains resume regular service on May 7, crews will replace rail and ties and maintain track ballast for a smoother, more reliable ride, a release said. 

TriMet will also install new LED lighting as part of a system-wide effort to improve station lighting while also reducing energy consumption. The lights will include controls that will allow TriMet to adjust the lighting levels as needed.