More improvements coming to the MAX Blue Line in Gresham this October

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MAX Blue Line in Gresham will be disrupted from Oct. 11 through Oct.17 to complete the Gresham MAX Improvements project

A year after signal and communication improvements at the end of the MAX Blue Line in Gresham began, TriMet will wrap up the project in October. While the work has been ongoing since September 2019, October’s disruption will result in the repair of a wooden trestle and improvements to the rail crossing at Northwest Eastman Parkway.

To tie in the new signal equipment to the trackway, MAX Blue Line will be disrupted Sunday, Oct. 11, through Saturday, Oct. 17.  Regular service will return on Sunday, Oct. 18. During the disruption, shuttle buses will serve stations between Rockwood/E 188 Ave and Cleveland Ave.

With shuttle buses running, riders will want to plan ahead. However, the project will not impact any other MAX lines, and Blue Line trains will continue to run on normal schedules throughout the project. We thank our riders for their patience and understanding as we complete this work to keep MAX running reliably into the future. Information about the project can also be found online at trimet.org/Gresham.

Rebuilding a unique trestle

TriMet will use the shutdown as an opportunity to make repairs to an old trestle that hasn’t seen them in decades. TriMet crews have already started work on the underside of the Fairview Creek trestle, placing temporary towers in preparation for replacing the wooden beams. During the seven-day disruption, they’ll work on both the upper and lower portions of the structure and complete a job that can only be done when trains aren’t moving in the area.

Located between the Ruby Junction/E 197th Ave and Civic Drive stations, The Fairview Creek trestle holds the unique distinction of being the only wooden structure in our system that trains pass over. Originally built in the 1940s to help carry freight trains, TriMet purchased the trestle in the early 1980s during the development of the original Blue Line. It’s one of two side-by-side structures that cross the creek and Wy’East Way Path. It only carries trains heading westbound. The other crossing, a concrete structure, carries eastbound trains and was built in the 1990s when TriMet put in another set of tracks through the area.

Crews will make structural upgrades to extend the trestle’s life cycle, replacing the old wooden supports with new ones. On the upper portion of the trestle, we will also remove rail and ties so workers have better access to the underside of the bridge. We will replace the removed ties with new ones by the end of the project. The repairs will make the trestle more durable and create a smoother rider over it.

Signals and crossing improvements

In the fall of 2019, TriMet made a series of track, signal and crossing improvements. Since then, we have finished constructing a new building at the Cleveland Ave Station that will house the signal system and operator facilities. This replaces a building that was nearly 40 years old. During the project, we will be replacing the signal equipment and rerouting the signal conduits and cables, and making connections to all field equipment. Once this work is completed, we’ll run trains through the area to test the new system and make sure it’s working. 

Crews will also put the finishing touches on rail crossing improvements begun in 2019. Crews will perform additional repairs to the eastbound crossing at Northwest Eastman Parkway by replacing the rubber rail boot and repaving asphalt near the crossing panels. This will make for a smoother ride for those on MAX, as well as cyclists and autos.  

The crossing work will require the closure of Eastman Parkway between Northwest Burnside Street and Northwest Division starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct.11 through as late as 4 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Line 21-Sandy Blvd/223rd will be detoured with two stops closed on SE 223rd and three stops closed on Eastman Parkway during this time. Expect some construction noise.

Making Transit Better

TriMet is working to make transit throughout the region more resilient, reliable and convenient. Installing newer technology to our transit system and revitalizing older sections that have served the region for decades helps move us into the future. Maintaining a dependable system of trains and buses means more opportunities for everyone to travel to work, play and appointments. Learn about past projects and other ways TriMet is Making Transit Better.