Marquam Hill attracts over 18,000 employees, patients, students and residents each day from around the region. To serve these stakeholders, the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project will include a connection from the Gibbs Street MAX Station on Barbur Boulevard to Marquam Hill.
This online open house is designed to help you understand the process for choosing the Marquam Hill Connector and allows you to explore the current connector types under consideration.
Connecting the many destinations on Marquam Hill to the Gibbs Street MAX Station is a complex challenge. While less than 600 feet (2–3 city blocks) separate Barbur Boulevard from Terwilliger Parkway, the slope rises steeply, with nearly 120 vertical feet between the two points. From Terwilliger Parkway, destinations including Oregon Health & Science University, Shriners Hospital for Children and the VA Medical Center disperse in different directions, another 100–200 feet higher on the hill.
It is also important for the connector to serve people visiting destinations on Marquam Hill in manner that is sensitive to Terwilliger Parkway’s historic context and natural environment.
Back in 2018, an earlier phase of the SW Corridor Project evaluated the impacts of four connection options. However, the Locally Preferred Alternative for light rail, adopted by Metro in November 2018, did not choose a connection option, deferring the selection to a Green Ribbon Committee comprised of project and Marquam Hill stakeholders.
In early 2019, the Green Ribbon Committee and a group of staff and community leaders began exploring a broad range of options, which included bridges, gondolas, escalators and more. After Committee input, this list was narrowed down to four potential options.
To help the Green Ribbon Committee evaluate the different connector options, a list of goals and criteria was developed.
Provide an efficient, convenient, equitable and comfortable connection for all users
Cost effective and timely within the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project
Protect or enhance the area’s natural resources and sensitive habitat
Provide a long-term, sustainable connection for current and future users
Best fit with, enhance or improve the unique historic, scenic, recreational and design characteristics of this area
Create a safe and secure connection for all users
Create a signature connection that provides a high-quality user experience and inspires civic pride
The Green Ribbon Committee is currently evaluating four types of connectors. The information below includes a variety of possible alignments for each type of connector, as well as a more detailed evaluation of one potential alignment. Note that the current process is focused on only choosing a type of connector. Further design and alignment decisions will be made later in the process.
Input from this online open house will be used by the Green Ribbon Committee to make a recommendation about the connector type at their May 8 meeting. The recommendation will then go to the SW Corridor Steering Committee for consideration at their meeting on May 13. Review the meeting schedules online.
Determining the type of connector is the first step in the process. Details of the connector design and alignment will be developed over the next several years and will include additional opportunities for public input and engagement.
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