Milwaukie’s MAX: TriMet releases cost, rider numbers

The Clackamas Review today reports that TriMet released the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Milwaukie MAX project last week. It estimates that costs will range from $1.25 billion to $1.42 billion and that the line could draw more than 25,000 daily passengers, up to almost one-half of which aren’t currently using transit.

The agency and the Portland to Milwaukie Citizen Advisory Committee will have to make some big decisions in the coming months, according to Metro Councilor Robert Liberty. He said TriMet needs to have a final decision on a new bridge and route alignment by July to maintain the current construction schedule, which calls for the line’s completion in 2015.

Not including bridge options, there are still three potential alignments on the table through downtown Milwaukie, including one (the original LPA) which has the terminus at Lake Road south of downtown Milwaukie, while the other two alignments both have their terminus at Park Avenue and McLoughlin Blvd. Of the latter two alignments, one runs through the downtown area of Milwaukie on Main St and the other follows the Tillamook Branch railroad tracks that run behind the Waldorf School campus. While no final decision has yet been made, it seems the momentum exists to select one of the alignments that run to Park Ave.

Liberty said extending the line to Park Avenue not only creates a higher number of trips, but more trips proportional to the extra project cost. He said the new line would have impacts beyond just moving people in and out of Milwaukie.

“There are not just a lot of new riders on this line, but there will be a lot of riders on the other lines as well,” Liberty said. “Everyone who uses the system has more destinations. Having the south leg is important in building a system and looking ahead to the next generation; building the framework for the next 20 years.”

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