First light rail welding begins Nov. 26 for Portland-Milwaukie Project


Crews will weld 80’ long rail segments together in downtown Portland
On Monday, Nov. 26, crews will weld together the first section of rail for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project. Crews will connect two, 80-foot lengths of rail by a thermite welding process that superheats aluminum, iron oxide, and alloy elements to produce molten steel and permanently join the rails. Each 80-foot rail weighs more than 3,000 lbs.

In all, more than 29 miles of rail will be installed along the 7.3-mile project. Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel in Pueblo, Colorado manufactured the rail.

Project construction highlights

Overall, the project is 30 percent complete.

  • Downtown Portland: Utility relocation complete; civil construction on SW Lincoln is two-thirds complete; concrete deck placement for the Harbor Structure (from SW Lincoln to South Waterfront) is under way.
  • Light Rail Bridge: 9 of 10 concrete pylon sections of the West Tower are complete; the permanent concrete cap for the 10th pylon will be placed after the bridge cables are installed next year. Pylon concrete pours for the East Tower are under way.
  • SE Portland: Utility relocation continues; structure construction is under way at SE Powell Blvd, Harold St, and the access ramp between SE Tacoma St and McLoughlin Blvd.
  • Milwaukie: Utility relocation continues; Kellogg Lake bridge is under construction.
  • Clackamas County: construction is under way along the Trolley Trail and at SE Park Avenue, the southern terminus of the project.

Project construction updates:

Economic benefits of the project

The project is creating up to 14,500 direct and indirect jobs during the life of the project. To date:

  • 323 firms are/have worked on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, 100 of which are minority/women-owned and emerging firms (DBEs).
  • 2,273 direct jobs as of November 9, 2012 (1,361 on-site construction; 912 professional and technical).

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 will carry light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future Portland Streetcar extension over the Willamette River, but no private vehicles.
  • TriMet’s share of the $1.49 billion project is less than 5 percent.
  • Opens in September 2015
  • Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations

Project partners

The Federal Transit Administration, Clackamas County, Metro, City of Milwaukie, Multnomah County, City of Oregon City, Oregon Department of Transportation, City of Portland, Portland Development Commission and TriMet.