Addressing service disruptions on the Steel Bridge


The Steel Bridge sees 559 light rail trains crossings each weekday and we know that it is vital to our service. We apologize to our riders for recent delays surrounding signal issues on the bridge. Our Maintenance of Way crews have been diligently working to identify and fix the issues.

During routine bi-monthly track walks TriMet’s Maintenance of Way crews noticed excessive wear along the west end of the bridge, coupled with an increasing number of short MAX service disruptions on the bridge.

Crews completed track repairs on the west end of the bridge over the past two weeks. This track work included excavating the asphalt around the rails and replacing the steel plates, known as joint bars. These are bolted to the rails at the expansion joints, or the small gaps that are deliberately left between the rail ends, allowing the rails to expand in hot weather.

As track work was completed, electrical components that were buried in the roadway on the bridge began to misfire. Crews identified problem locations and made repairs this morning. This work will be further reinforced in the coming weeks when the permanent welds are put in place.

State of Good Repair

Over the next year and a half, TriMet will make $2.5 million in track and switch improvements throughout the system. Additionally, over the next two and a half years $585,000 in federal grant monies will be used to replace and improve signals, gate mechanisms and other electrical systems.

Much of the federal State of Good Repair funds are dedicated to preventive maintenance and rail enhancements. This money is on top of millions of TriMet-dedicated funds annually allocated to rail maintenance and improvements.

Our crews work hard to keep the system moving and we appreciate their dedication and efforts. Again, we want to thank our riders for their patience as we continue to improve our operations and service delivery.