Steel Bridge Improvements
MAX Disruption August 2–29, 2020
This summer, we are taking up our biggest MAX improvements project to date.
All MAX lines and some bus lines will have disruptions. Most riders should plan at least an extra 30–45 minutes for their trips.
We’ll be replacing and upgrading track, switches and the signal system across the 108-year-old Steel Bridge, which will help improve reliability and keep future trains running on time while reducing disruptions and delays.
The start of service Sunday, August 2 through the end of service Saturday, August 29.
- Construction is on track to end by end of service on Saturday, August 29
We’re replacing 8,680 feet of rail, lift joints, expansion rails and two switch sections (where trains move between two sets of track), including the most used switches on the light rail system.
We’ll also improve the signal system across the bridge with modern technology and safety features.
What you need to know
Most riders should plan at least an extra 30–45 minutes for their trips. Please use our trip planner to find the fastest way to your destination.
This work will require a four-week disruption to all MAX service from the start of service Sunday, August 2 through the end of service Saturday, August 29.
MAX lines will not run in some areas and trains will not be running on their regular schedules. Shuttle buses will take riders across the river. Shuttles will be running every 2–5 minutes, but room on board will be limited due to physical distancing requirements.
During the first 27 days of the disruption, shuttle buses will take riders across the river, serving Rose Quarter Transit Center, Union Station/NW 5th & Glisan Station and Old Town/Chinatown Stations.
On the final day, Saturday, August 29, the disruption on the east side expands, with shuttle buses serving stations between Lloyd Center/NE 11th Ave and Old Town/Chinatown and between Albina/Mississippi Stations and Union Station.
Bus lines 4, 8, 35, 44 and 77 will be affected. They will be unable to cross the Steel Bridge and will detour to other nearby bridges, which will require some stop closures near the Steel Bridge. Line 17 will also have some temporary stop closures and Line 85 will be detoured through the Rose Quarter area.
Pedestrian and bike traffic
The lower deck of the Steel Bridge will still be open to pedestrian and bike traffic.
We will provide shuttle buses across the river, but you may want to walk. On average, it takes less than 15 minutes to walk between Rose Quarter and Old Town/Chinatown MAX stations. Follow the signs to the pedestrian/bike route on the lower deck of Steel Bridge. Please stay on the marked path as it’s the fastest and safest route.
If biking, we recommend that you cycle your entire trip. If you’re using TriMet shuttles to cross the bridge, please park your bike at a station. Due to social distancing because of COVID-19, those bringing bikes during commuting times may have a longer wait to find room on board shuttle buses and MAX trains.
You can connect to the walkway from the north ends of Tom McCall Park and the Eastbank Esplanade, or via the stairs in Peace Memorial Park just south of Rose Quarter TC.
The Steel Bridge upper deck will be closed to all auto traffic. You can use the nearby Broadway or Burnside bridges to travel across the river.
Our Rider Support team can help you plan your trip through the disruption. They are available via phone at 503-238-RIDE (7433) seven days a week between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. They can also be reached between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. via text message at 503-238-7433 and on Twitter at @trimethelp.
Traveling through the disruption
Shuttle buses will run between Rose Quarter Transit Center, Union Station/NW 5th & Glisan, and Old Town/Chinatown MAX Stations.
Expanded Disruption Saturday, August 29
On the project’s final day, Saturday, August 29, the disruption to MAX service on the east side expands. MAX Blue Line will run between Gresham and Lloyd Center/NE 11th Ave. MAX Green Line will run between Clackamas and Lloyd Center. MAX Yellow Line will run between Expo Center and Albina/Mississippi stations. Shuttle buses will serve stations between Albina/Mississippi, Union Station and Interstate/Rose Quarter.
MAX Blue Line
MAX Blue Line will run in two segments
Hillsboro ↔ Old Town/Chinatown
Blue Line will travel between Hillsboro and Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station. To continue across the river, transfer to a MAX shuttle bus on Everett between 1st & Naito in Old Town/Chinatown and connect with Blue or Green Line trains at Rose Quarter Transit Center.
Gresham ↔ Rose Quarter Transit Center
Blue Line trains will travel their regular route from Gresham to Rose Quarter Transit Center. To continue to Downtown Portland, Beaverton or Hillsboro transfer to a MAX shuttle bus at Rose Quarter and transfer to a Blue Line train at Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station.
MAX Green Line
Clackamas ↔ Rose Quarter
Green Line trains will travel between Clackamas Transit Center and Rose Quarter Transit Center. To continue to Downtown Portland, transfer to a MAX shuttle bus at Rose Quarter and connect with either an Orange Line train at Union Station or a Blue Line train at Old Town/Chinatown.
MAX Orange Line
Milwaukie ↔ Union Station
Orange Line trains will travel between Milwaukie and Union Station. To continue to North Portland, Gateway, Gresham or Clackamas, transfer to a MAX shuttle bus at Union Station and connect with Yellow, Blue, or Green Line trains at Rose Quarter.
MAX Red Line
Airport ↔ Gateway
Red Line trains will travel only between Portland International Airport and Gateway Transit Center.
Heading to the airport?
From the west side, take a Blue Line train to Old Town/Chinatown station and transfer to a MAX shuttle bus on Everett between 1st & Naito. Take a Blue or Green Line train between Rose Quarter Transit Center and Gateway Transit Center and transfer to the Red Line at the center platform.
Leaving the airport?
Riders traveling to Downtown Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro or locations along the Orange Line, take MAX Red Line from the airport to Gateway Transit Center. At Gateway, transfer to a Blue or Green Line train heading to Rose Quarter. At Rose Quarter, transfer to a shuttle bus. Connect with Orange Line at Union Station/NW 5th & Glisan, or connect with Blue Line at Old Town/Chinatown.
MAX Yellow Line
Expo Center ↔ Rose Quarter
Yellow Line trains will travel between Expo Center and Interstate/Rose Quarter. To continue to Downtown Portland, Milwaukie, or points west, transfer to a MAX shuttle bus at Rose Quarter and connect with either an Orange Line train at Union Station or a Blue Line train at Old Town/Chinatown.