PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — MAX Green and Yellow Line trains are once again running across the Steel Bridge following a roughly 14-hour power outage linked to a shorted-out high-voltage surge protector.
More than 35,000 riders cross the Steel Bridge each weekday on the four MAX lines, according to TriMet’s figures. All Steel Bridge train service across the bridge was out during of this power outage.
Additionally, a power outage as of 6 p.m. on the MAX Blue and Red lines between the Beaverton Transit Center and Sunset Transit Center disrupted those trains as well. As of 8:30 p.m., a “resulting mechanical issue” with a train stopped on that route had been repaired and those lines also had reopened, TriMet reported.
Here’s the timeline for the Steel Bridge closure:
Just before 6 a.m. Monday, TriMet reported that six of its substations in the Central Business District had lost power. The cause was not immediately confirmed. Technicians were focused on repairing substations at the Rose Quarter and the Steel Bridge.
All MAX service was stalled in downtown Portland, including the streetcar.
By 7:20 a.m., streetcar service had been restored. Some power had also come back downtown, with a train circling between Portland State University and Union Station, TriMet said.
By 8:45 a.m., most service had been restored, although trains were still unable to cross the Steel Bridge.
As of 2 p.m., the Steel Bridge service was still down, with shuttle buses operating between the Rose Quarter and Old Town Chinatown.
As of 4:16 p.m., TriMet issued this statement: “We have not been able to restore power on the Steel Bridge, so MAX trains are still unable to cross the bridge for the evening commute. Please encourage riders to use regular bus service. Some may choose to walk from the Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station at NW 1st and Davis across the Steel Bridge to the Rose Quarter area.”
TriMet added that “We are not able to run express buses to the airport as had earlier been planned.”
By 6 p.m., TriMet said repair crews found a failed component at the top of an overhead power pole — with a shorted out high-voltage surge protector. “We have made repairs and service will be restored by 8 p.m.,” TriMet reported.
During the Steel Bridge outage, Yellow Line service was only running between the Rose Quarter and the Expo Center. The Blue Line was only running between Hillsboro and Jeld-Wen Field. The Red Line was operating between the Beaverton Transit Center and Jeld-Wen Field, as well as the Gateway Transit
Center and Portland International Airport. The Green Line was running from Hollywood to the Clackamas Town Center.
The Westside Express Service was not impacted by the outage.
Shuttle buses were running between stations in the affected areas. According to a TriMet official, commuters at the Hollywood TC were waiting at least 10 minutes for a bus.
Mary Fetsch, a TriMet spokesperson, said that in normal circumstances, when one substation loses power, adjacent substations will pick up the slack. However, in this situation, too much stress may have been placed on the other substations, causing them all to go down. However, the exact cause remains under investigation.
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