PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The latest MAX improvement project, which disrupted service for most of May, is finally complete.
TriMet finished up track improvements on SW Morrison and Yamhill at 11th Avenue and ran test trains through the area on Saturday, May 20. Service was back to normal on Sunday.
The three week project improved the trackbed and replaced switches as well as filled in gaps and broken asphalt along the rails for one of the oldest sections of the MAX line in the city. It impacted service on the blue, red and green MAX lines and reduced frequency on all lines.
“We made some track improvements, including replacing the old wooden ties, with durable, composite ties and other materials that will hold up better in our wet weather,” TriMet spokesperson Roberta Alstadt said. “We also made intersection improvements. We replaced the potholes and the asphalt that was pulling away from the rails, so it’s going to be a much smoother service.”
She said the work will also improve things for pedestrians and cyclists because they’ve created a smoother surface at the intersection.
While the work was being done, TriMet officials recommended riders add 30-45 minutes to their commute through downtown Portland and didn’t recommend buying a month pass for May.
It’s not just TriMet commuters who are glad the project is complete.
“[I’m] extremely happy because it does break up your sleeping habit sometimes,” said Bill Thornton who lives near the construction area.
He said the work caused congestion for those on foot too.
“They would get upset,” Thornton said. “They would start to walk up that side, and they couldn’t continue up Morrison.”
Nearby businesses saw a bit of an impact on their traffic too.
“We did notice a little bit of a downtick, but we just tried to promote in certain ways and TriMet did some promotions,” Simon Dannenbaum at Bridge and Burn said.