Light rail construction workers meet with Congresswoman Bonamici

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She hears uplifting stories of the jobs that are making a real difference

Carpenter Martha Jones tells Congresswoman Bonamici how she is helping to build the 1,730 Harbor Structure that will carry light rail and TriMet buses in the South Waterfront area. Andy Auxier (L) is Project Manager for Contractor Stacy and Witbeck/Mowat Construction.

U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici visited the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project site on Thursday and met with about a dozen construction workers to hear how the project and the jobs are benefiting them.

Carpenter Martha Jones was stay-at-home-mom until her husband was laid off from his job. She then heard about the Oregon Tradeswomen program and it launched her into a new career.  “After two years of training, I’m now working my first construction job and I love it. I needed to find work, and I’m fortunate that this project came along.”

 

Crane operator Allan Taylor performed critical work assisting with time-sensitive placement of the huge steel Harbor structure girders in South Waterfront. “The project has been a great source of work for me—the crews and I were thrilled to be working a few 12 to 14 hour days,” said Taylor. “I’ve almost met my 8,000 hour requirement to become a journeyman.”

The rail project has created more than 1,800 direct jobs so far out of a total of 14,500 direct and indirect jobs during the life of the project.

Since before she was elected to Congress in January, Bonamici has been a strong supporter of infrastructure development and expanding access to transit. As a state legislator, she voted to dedicate $250 million in state lottery funds toward the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project that provided the critical early funds necessary to launch design and construction.

“This region has been a leader in transit, but we have a lot of challenges rebuilding our economy.” Bonamici noted. “In order to have a strong economy, people have to work, and this type of work makes a huge impact.”

Congresswoman Bonamici (center) is surrounded by workers and project staff working on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project

About the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit 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. About the project:

  •  7.3 miles
  • 10 stations
  • The first of its kind multi-modal bridge over the Willamette River that will carry light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future Portland Streetcar extension, but no private vehicles.
  • Opens in September 2015
  • Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations

 For more information about the project, visit trimet.org/pm.