Upcoming late-night work on the Steel Bridge and MAX Yellow Line planned to help maintain reliability


Overnight service across the Steel Bridge will be disrupted Feb. 15-17, while MAX Yellow Line service will experience two nights of disrupted service on March 2 and 3.

Two separate maintenance projects are scheduled to take place near the Moda Center in the days and weeks ahead, with TriMet crews scheduled to work during the overnight hours to maintain reliability across the MAX system.

The planned work is part of TriMet’s ongoing efforts to keep the MAX system in good working order. While TriMet crews work on maintenance projects frequently, often during regular service hours with minimal impacts to the system, some projects require short-term disruptions. This allows crews to complete important projects faster, with less likelihood of unplanned disruptions in the future.

Overnight Steel Bridge span balancing: Feb. 15-17

Three late night closures of the Steel Bridge are planned for next week. All MAX lines will be disrupted overnight, from 11:30 p.m. though 5 a.m., Tuesday night through Friday morning. We will have normal service all other hours those days.

During the overnight disruptions, no traffic will be allowed across the bridge. Shuttle buses will take MAX Blue and Red Line riders between the Old Town/Chinatown and Rose Quarter stations. For the MAX Orange and Yellow lines, shuttle buses will run between Interstate/Rose Quarter and the SE Park Avenue MAX Station, serving stations along the Transit Mall on 5th and 6th avenues.

During the bridge closure hours, MAX riders should expect delays and avoid traveling if it’s possible. But if you are riding during this time, TriMet employees will be available to help you reach your destination.

The work is necessary to allow Union Pacific Railroad and TriMet to complete a span balancing exercise that requires raising the Steel Bridge’s decks. The exercise is a requirement stemming from the Steel Bridge MAX Improvements project, in which the entire MAX system across the bridge was rebuilt.

MAX Yellow Line signals testing: March 2-3

The MAX Yellow Line will be disrupted overnight on Wednesday, March 2, and Thursday, March 3, to allow crews to test the line’s signals equipment.

On March 2, shuttle buses will replace Yellow Line trains from 8:30 p.m. until the end of service between Interstate/Rose Quarter and the Expo Center. On March 3, shuttle buses will replace trains from 8:30 p.m. until the end of service between Lombard and Expo Center. TriMet personnel will be out assisting riders during the disruption and helping them make their connections.

Signals are an important component of the MAX system, as they’re essential to regulating rail traffic, keeping trains running safely and on time. Making sure they’re in topnotch shape improves the overall reliability of the MAX system—not just on one specific line but throughout the entire system. Our maintenance-of-way crews will need the Yellow Line to be free of all train traffic in order to accomplish the testing and inspection, and they’ll use the time to perform additional work in the trackway, including picking up trash and debris.

Need help? We’re here

While necessary at times, we know disruptions are an inconvenience. As we work to minimize the impacts, we’re here to help you and welcome any questions you have. If you need help planning your trip, you can reach TriMet’s Customer Service team by calling or texting 503-238-RIDE (7433) daily between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. You can also drop us a direct message or on Twitter by tweeting @trimethelp.

Making transit better

TriMet is thankful to our riders for their patience and understanding as we work to make transit better. We aim to inspect, maintain and improve the system in ways that impact people’s trips the least. Small projects do lead to big results, building further resilience into the MAX system and helping to prevent future disruptions.

Over the past 12 months, TriMet has performed a number of improvements to the MAX system.

  • In October, crews spent two weeks rebuilding a section of track just east of the Lloyd Center/NE 11th Ave MAX Station. The work added more durable concrete rail ties and improved runoff drainage by navigating water around our trackway, preventing excess water and debris from collecting.
  • Last May, TriMet essentially rebuilt a section of rail along I-84 in Northeast Portland. In doing so, crews replaced about 2,600 feet of rail on the oldest section of the system.

Overall, projects like these help keep the MAX system durable, reduce wear and tear and keep trains running on time to get riders to where they’re going.