Crews to revitalize section of TriMet’s oldest MAX line starting Sept. 22

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Gresham MAX Improvements to disrupt eastern end of MAX Blue Line, close five stations

TriMet will make vital upgrades to one of the oldest sections of the MAX system this month, part of our efforts to boost reliability and make the overall experience for our riders better. Drivers, too, will feel the benefits of the Gresham MAX Improvements project, which will stretch across more than 2 miles at the end of the MAX Blue Line, from Rockwood/E 188th Ave Station to Cleveland Ave Station.

Crews will spend two weeks, from Sunday, Sept. 22, to Saturday, Oct. 5, completing a series of upgrades, repairs and replacements that will improve the MAX system. When the project ends, MAX riders and motorists alike will feel the benefits, with more reliable MAX service and a smoother drive over the tracks.

TriMet crews will make improvements at seven rail crossings, three stretches of restricted trackway, a one-mile section of the overhead power wire and four stations. The work will take place on sections of the original MAX alignment, which opened to rail service more than 30 years ago. MAX riders traveling through the disrupted area should allow up to 15 minutes extra for their trips.

This is the latest in a series of major projects since 2016 to revitalize the MAX system, and it comes only a month after the Lloyd MAX Improvements project wrapped.

Gresham MAX Improvements

The Gresham MAX Improvements project will stretch from nine feet underground to 19 feet in the air. Upgrades to rail crossings are key to the project. They’ll not only make MAX rides smoother but will create a more even surface for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Our crews will repair the track bed, replace rail ties and improve the roadway where it meets the rails by filling in asphalt gaps. Crews will also replace wooden railroad ties, installed in the 1980s, in some sections. They’ll install new wooden ties or, where possible, more durable concrete ties.

Underground, crews will be digging trenches to lay cables to a new signal system building that is under construction. And up in the air, they’ll replace the overhead wire that powers westbound trains between the Gresham Central Transit Center and Civic Drive Station. We’ll also replace four machines that operate the switches just west of the Cleveland Ave Station.

Altogether, the improvements will disrupt service to the five easternmost stations on the MAX Blue Line.

Closed stations

  • Ruby Junction/E 197th Ave
  • Civic Drive
  • Gresham City Hall
  • Gresham Central Transit Center
  • Cleveland Ave

Shuttle buses running between stops near the closed stations will minimize the impact on riders. We do encourage riders to plan an extra 15 minutes as the bus trips take a bit longer than the train. Shuttle buses will run on MAX Blue Line schedules for most of the service day and about every 5 minutes during morning and afternoon commutes.

Because the work is happening at the end of the line, there will be no service disruptions elsewhere along the Blue Line or on any of TriMet’s other MAX lines.

Traffic impacts

Seven intersections will be closed or have lanes reduced from Sept. 22 through Oct. 5 to accommodate improvements to the rail crossings. Repairs and upgrades at rail crossings will close the roads, in most cases, for two days each. That means motorists, pedestrians and cyclists will encounter some detours.

NW Eastman Parkway, near Gresham City Hall MAX Station
  • Main Avenue will be closed between Division Street and 8th Street
  • Hood Avenue will be closed between 10th Drive and 7th Street
  • Cleveland Avenue will be closed between 8th Street and 6th Street
  • Eastman Parkway will be closed between Burnside Street and Division Street
  • Roberts Avenue will be closed between 10th Drive and 5th Street
  • Kelly Avenue will be closed between 8th Street and 7th Street
  • Birdsdale Avenue will have one lane closed with flaggers directing traffic for one day

For specific dates and times of the closures, go to trimet.org/gresham.

Making Transit Better

We at TriMet are working to make your ride smoother and more reliable, and we appreciate your patience during projects such as this. The Gresham MAX Improvements project is just one of the ways TriMet is making transit better.

Learn about other ways TriMet is working to speed up transit and improve the ride.