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Transit Planners Studying a Tunnel Under Portland

Oregon Metro and TriMet are studying the feasibility of a subway tunnel under Portland that would cross under the Willamette River to speed up MAX trains through the city.
June 30, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Andrew Theen reports that Metro, the regional government for the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan are, and Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) will study an ambitious tunneling project that would "build a tunnel underneath downtown Portland and the Willamette River to speed up light rail trains and provide an alternative river crossing to the aging Steel Bridge."

"The regional government quietly posted a new website this week dedicated to the MAX tunnel project, which would put MAX trains underground from roughly the Lloyd Center to Goose Hollow in Southwest Portland," according to Theen.

Metro officials are stressing the speculative nature of the feasibility study, likening it to "planning for a plan." The website is asking for comments on the tunnel project, however.

Theen is able to share a few speculative details for the project, too: "The overall tunnel project would likely cost at least $1 billion. A preliminary concept described a “twin-bore east-west transit tunnel” that would emerge on the west side on Jefferson Street near SW 16th and on the eastside near NE Holiday Street at 16th Drive."

Given the preliminary nature of the project, Theen is able to reveal a lot more context for the project, and its potential impact on the city.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, June 28, 2019 in The Oregonian
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