With 234 days left until the Tilikum Crossing’s grand opening, TriMet technicians tested the new light rail to ensure proper connections between the train and the tracks. The new crossing is going to allow commuters to travel between downtown Portland and the South Waterfront within about 10 minutes.
“The crossing is a significant increase in TriMet’s ability to get commuters to the South Waterfront area,” said Mary Fetsch, TriMet spokeswoman. “In total, it will give us just over 60 miles of track and be the sixth phase of construction that TriMet has done.”
The testing phase consisted of technicians measuring the connectivity of the electric interface with the track and the overhead catenary system, which provides power to vehicles and signals on the crossing.
The crossing was built with state-of-the-art reinforcement, and is a part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project. The project was designed to create 7.3 miles of new track from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines to the South Waterfront, Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County.
In addition to the new tracks, the project will create an additional 10 stations, expanding the light rail’s total stations to 97.
Apart from the light rail, the Tilikum Crossing will have lanes for buses, bicycles and a lane for anyone crossing the Willamette River by foot. It’s the first multi-model bridge in the U.S. to feature multiple forms of public transportation, but not private vehicles.
It is scheduled to open Sept. 12.