PORTLAND, Ore. — The Steel Bridge closed Sunday for major upgrades to the MAX infrastructure. The bridge is closed to all traffic: MAX trains, buses and cars through August 29th. This is TriMet’s biggest and most ambitious improvement project in decades.
Monday is the first weekday that drivers and passengers are noticing delays. MAX riders will get off at the Rose Quarter or Old Town/Chinatown stops and catch a shuttle bus across the Broadway Bridge. The buses that usually travel across the Steel Bridge are also rerouted. Buses have their own dedicated lane on the Broadway Bridge to speed up service. TriMet is telling riders to expect delays of 30-45 minutes and to plan your trip ahead of time. They’re encouraging riders who can to ride at non-peak times, use the Portland Streetcar, ride a bike, or work from home. The lower deck of the Steel Bridge remains open to pedestrian and bike traffic. Drivers will need to use another bridge.
More Information: trimet.org/steelbridge
TriMet is replacing and upgrading over 8,000 feet of track, lift joints, expansion rails and two switch sections. The signal system across the bridge will be improved with modern technology and safety features to help improve reliability and keep future trains running on time while reducing disruptions and delays. Every MAX line uses this half-mile section of track, making it the most used and crucial span in the entire system.
The Steel Bridge opened in the summer of 1912 and the first light rail trains crossed over in 1986. It will reopen on August 30th.