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TriMet picks preferred route for Southwest Corridor light rail

The route would run 12 miles between downtown Portland and the Bridgeport Village shopping complex in Tualatin.
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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's (TriMet) board last week recommended that the Portland-area Metro Council adopt the locally preferred alternative for the Southwest Corridor light-rail project between Portland and Tualatin.

The preferred route would run 12 miles between downtown Portland and the Bridgeport Village shopping complex in Tualatin. The preferred option would include 13 stations, along with up to seven park-and-rides. It also would allow for 2 miles of shared transitway for future express bus service, TriMet officials said in a press release.

The project's partners — which include the Oregon Department of Transportation, Washington County, and the cities of Portland, Tigard and Tualatin — settled on the proposed route based on an earlier draft environmental impact statement, community input, costs and safety, according to TriMet.

Over the past seven years, project staff identified more than 60 routes for high-capacity transit in the greater Portland area, according to a post on the Metro Council's website.

"The Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project will create improved connections to some of the region's fastest growing communities and ease traffic congestion," TriMet officials said. "It will link with the MAX light-rail system in downtown Portland, providing new access to opportunities throughout the metropolitan area."

The project is expected to cost $2.4 billion to $2.8 billion. TriMet expects to fund the program in part through the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program, which is part of the broader Capital Investment Grants program.

The project's steering committee in spring 2016 advanced consideration of light-rail service over bus rapid transit along the Southwest Corridor.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/2/2018