Improved northbound SE 17th Avenue overpass above Powell Blvd opens ahead of schedule

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Two TriMet bus lines will return to regular route Sept. 1

The northbound SE 17th Avenue overpass above Powell Boulevard in Portland reopens tonight ahead of schedule. The roadway opens Friday, Aug. 30 by 6 p.m., rather than on Sunday morning, Sept. 1. The overpass was closed in one direction for 14 months while Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project crews removed the old overpass to construct a new, adjacent crossing for light rail trains.

The opening of the overpass also allows both TriMet bus lines 17-Holgate/Broadway and 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave to return to regular route northbound on SE 17th. This change occurs Sunday, Sept. 1, when TriMet’s fall service changes are implemented.

Improvements
The new vehicle overpass includes sidewalks for pedestrians, and will be striped with permanent bike lanes in the future.

The north sidewalk of Powell Boulevard under the overpass will also reopen. The reopened sidewalk will include improved sightlines, improved connections to adjacent sidewalks, and public art in the wall where the sidewalk passes under the light rail overpass; the south sidewalk is expected to reopen this fall.

When light rail construction is complete, SE 17th Avenue will have two MAX stations, one at Rhine Street and one just north of Holgate Boulevard. The street will also include improved sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions, as well as extensive stormwater swales, landscaping and public art.

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 that will carry light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future Portland Streetcar extension, but no private vehicles.
  • Opens Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
  • Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations

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