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portland milwaukie light rail

The Orange Line might secretly be Portland's biggest bike project ever

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Permanent Cables on the West Tower
Cables on the west tower of TriMet's new car-free bridge over the Willamette River.
(Photo by TriMet.)

The 7.3-mile light rail line opening next year through the South Waterfront, Southeast Portland and downtown Milwaukie will, of course, build a new car-free bridge across the Willamette, the biggest such crossing in the country.

But even if you don't count the full $135 million bridge, the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project will also include more than $40 million in bicycling and walking facilities on nearby streets.

For comparison: in 2008, the city estimated the value of its entire bikeway network at $60 million.

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Visualizing the cost of local transportation projects

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than just about anything else on BikePortland, we write about street projects — and, if our records are any indication, you like to read about them more than just about anything else, too.

But what do they cost, really? Sometimes it's hard to visualize.

So we gave it a shot:

visualizing Portland-area transportation investments
Graphic by BikePortland. The area of each circle corresponds to the cost of each project.

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Want to name that bridge? Now's your chance

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
TriMet's yet-to-be-named bridge
TriMet's new bridge is shaping up, but it still needs a name.
(Concept drawing)

All joking aside, what is that new Willamette River bridge going to be called? Starting this morning, the citizens' committee appointed to decide is asking for ideas.

In construction for more than a year, the new cable-stay bridge is being built by TriMet as part of its Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. The agency says it'll be the only one in the country to carry buses, trains, emergency vehicles, and people on bike, foot or skate, but no private cars. It'll connect the fast-developing Southeast Division Street area with the South Waterfront.

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Your new favorite way to cross SE Powell is open (photos)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
The SE 17th Avenue bridge over Powell has
a wide new multi-use sidewalk.
(Photo by Howard Draper.)

Inner southeast Portland's summer of detours is finishing with an early Christmas present: great big human-friendly new crossings of Powell Boulevard and the nearby railroad tracks at SE 17th.

The new bridge, built by TriMet as part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project, opened to traffic Aug. 30. Last weekend, bike user Howard Draper grabbed the photo at right, so we decided to head over and take a look.

It's an improvement in many ways, though there are a couple problematic features worth considering.

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Surveying the SE light rail construction detours: How are you coping?

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
SE light rail construction detours-2
It's a mess out there. This view is looking east from the 99E viaduct onto SE Division Place.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

With two weeks to go for a set of major construction-related detours in Southeast Portland, they're continuing to be a major hassle for all road users. We went out to survey the situation yesterday and we're curious how you're coping. (more...)

First Look: Trimet's 'Velosaurus' sculpture will adorn new path across SE Powell

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
TriMet rendering of 'Velosaurus' sculpture by Horatio Law.

There's a 'Velosaurus' coming to SE Powell and 17th. That's the name of a new piece of public art TriMet is set to unveil next week. The art is part of their Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project and it's slated to line the new biking and walking path where SE 17th Avenue and the new MAX line cross over SE Powell.
(more...)

Light rail construction means detours on Esplanade, SE Powell

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

TriMet announced today that construction of their Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project will mean traffic detours beginning this month.

Of particular interest is the closure of the SE Powell overcrossing and a detour near the south end of the Eastbank Esplanade.

Beginning June 15th and continuing for "about a year" TriMet will be working on the demolition of the SE Powell Blvd overpass. The overpass will be closed through the summer of 2013 while a new structure is built in its place.

Below are more details from TriMet about the work they're doing as well as detour maps for both areas: (more...)

Follow-up: TriMet to get $4.5 million in ODOT Flex Funds

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Earlier this month, TriMet — in a last-ditch effort to fill the local funding gap in their $1.5 billion Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project — put in a request for a 10-year, $19 million funding commitment from the State of Oregon.

Artist rendering of Portland-Milwaukie light rail line.

The request raised serious concerns with transportation officials around the state for a variety of reasons. Some were concerned that TriMet was muscling into one of the very rare dedicated funding sources available to non-highway projects anywhere in the state (These non-highway "Flexible Funds" are a relatively small pot of money totaling about $20 million) and that the multi-year commitment would unfairly compromise the availability of funds for other projects. (more...)

BTA urges against state Flexible Funds for TriMet light rail project

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

"We strongly urge that the state look to other sources for funding this vital project."
— BTA's Rob Sadowsky in a letter to the Oregon Transportation Commission

Last week we shared the news that TriMet is making a major funding request for ODOT's $21 million pot of Federal Flexible Funds. The request is for a 10 year commitment of about $2 million per year to help fund the final portion of their $1.49 billion Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line (TriMet would then bond against the funds to raise a total of $15 million for the project).

Yesterday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) sent a letter to the Gail Achterman, Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission (the OTC is a Governor-appointed body that advises ODOT policy and makes the final decision about who gets this money). In their letter, the BTA wrote, "We strongly urge that the state look to other sources for funding this vital project."
(more...)

Light rail project funding gap could impact bike parking, access

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
The Rhine Pedestrian Bridge over
the Brooklyn Yards might not
get renovated after all.

TriMet's $1.5 billion Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project is facing a $200 million budget gap and cuts currently being considered could impact bike parking and bike access. The gap is due to an unexpected announcement by the Federal Transit Administration in July that they'd only fund 50% of the project instead of a 60% share that all previous light rail projects have gotten.

At last night's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, PBOT project manager Art Pearce said they're just now starting to identify pieces of the project that can be cut. While TriMet executives look for additional funding, Pearce and other project partners from around the region are going through the project with a fine-toothed comb to find areas that can be cut back or deferred completely. (more...)

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