Crews began welding together the first section of rail for TriMet's Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project in Oregon.
Welders will connect two, 80-foot lengths of rail by a thermite welding process that superheats aluminum, iron oxide and alloy elements to produce molten steel and permanently join the rails. Each 80-foot rail weighs more than 3,000 pounds.
In all, more than 29 miles of rail will be installed along the 7.3-mile project. Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel in Pueblo, Colo., manufactured the rail.
The project is currently 30 percent complete. In downtown Portland, utility relocation is complete; civil construction on SW Lincoln is two-thirds complete and concrete deck placement for the Harbor Structure is under way. As it pertains to the light-rail bridge,
nine of 10 concrete pylon sections of the West Tower are complete; the permanent concrete cap for the tenth pylon will be placed after the bridge cables are installed next year and pylon concrete pours for the East Tower are under way. In South East Portland, utility relocation continues; structure construction is under way at SE Powell Boulevard, Harold Street and the access ramp between SE Tacoma Street and McLoughlin Boulevard. In Milwaukie, utility relocation continues and Kellogg Lake bridge is under construction. In Clackamas County, construction is under way along the Trolley Trail and at SE Park Avenue, the southern terminus of the project.
The project is creating up to 14,500 direct and indirect jobs during the life of the project.
The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX construction project to be built and extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in Downtown Portland to South Waterfront, SE Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. The line is expected to open September 2015.