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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) has added a "countdown clock" on its website to mark the remaining days of construction until the Portland-Milwaukie MAX Orange light-rail line opens on Sept. 12, 2015.Work that still needs to be completed by then includes:• finishing the installation of light-rail track along the 7.3-mile line;• installing the remaining overhead electrical wires that will power the trains;• completing the installation of lighting and handrails on the Tilikum Crossing;• installing the final public art elements along the entire alignment; and • finishing bicycle and pedestrian improvements.Project engineers and agency safety and operations staff also will need to complete the clearance test for the project's southern end. The clearance test on the northern end was completed Aug. 25, TriMet officials said in a press release.The region's sixth MAX construction project, the Portland-Milwaukie line is designed to improve transit in the corridor that extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in downtown Portland to South Waterfront, southeast Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. The project, which includes 10 stations and the first of its kind multimodal transit bridge, will expand the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations.Meanwhile, TriMet recently marked 3.35 million trips and the fifth year of service of its MAX Green Line. The 8.3-mile line extended the MAX system to 52 miles and added a second alignment through downtown Portland along 5th and 6th avenues and the Portland Transit Mall, and new tracks between Gateway Transit Center and Clackamas Town Center.Over the past five years, the MAX Green Line's weekday ridership reached a peak of 23,500 trips in spring 2012. Trips that began or ended within the Interstate 205 segment increased 20 percent from the opening year, and 7.6 million people since have taken the Green Line to or from the Clackamas Town Center.
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