PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s Steel Bridge was closed to transit and vehicular traffic Sunday, and it won’t reopen until the end of August. The closure is for a construction project to upgrade the bridge and MAX rail lines.
Since all MAX trains that cross the river use the Steele Bridge to do so, every line will be affected as well as five bus lines. TriMet officials have asked people to change up their schedules for the month of August or find new ways to commute. Shuttle buses will be available to take commuters across the river using the neighboring Broadway and Burnside bridges.
“Once it’s all done, we’re going to have a more resilient system, a more reliable system. It will be a smoother ride for people as well, as they’re coming across the Steel Bridge,” said Tyler Graf of TriMet. “This is a very old structure and it’s also an old part of our system, so we’re excited about making it new again.”
The Steel Bridge is over 100 years old, according to TriMet. The improvement project will replace a total of “8,680 feet of rail,” as well as update the signaling system and safety features to improve reliability.
The lower deck of the bridge will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians throughout the construction.