Closing the Loop, in Fast-Forward

Here’s a fun time-lapse video showing 19 days of work to connect Streetcar to the new LRT tracks/bridge in South Waterfront in just under a minute.

The work was completed 14 hours ahead of schedule despite 4 inches of rain at the end of the job.

7 responses to “Closing the Loop, in Fast-Forward”

  1. Oh, so this explains why there was a shuttle bus connection to S. Waterfront last weekend. Got it.

    So, does this mean that the full streetcar loop will become operational on opening day for Milwaukie Light Rail?

    • The sequence of which service starts first on the new bridge has not been determined yet.

      We also still need to find one more streetcar vehicle and some operating funding before we can run the full loop streetcar service.

      We’re busy working on it!

      • I’ve been assuming TWO new streetcars for the full loop; but ONE is fine too.
        Number 24 is Orange/Purplish.

        I do not dislike the new Southbound onramp
        to I-5 rearrangement. Waiting for artist renderings
        of Before/After scenarios at new intersections,
        Aerial & landscape views.

        • “I do not dislike”

          Wells, I’m curious why you formed your sentence that way? It’s literary but pretty convoluted for a technical discussion. I’m wondering if you meant to say “I do dislike” or “I do not like”.

          What would be wrong with “I like” if in fact that’s what you meant?

          Since I have not heard about changes in the ramps (to and from Harbor Drive?), I’m wondering what they might be myself.

  2. I am really confused looking at that excessively complex track structure. Which tracks are which? It looks like there’s a pair of straight-through tracks, a branch to the left off of those, and a *completely separate* set of outer tracks swinging around them.

    Is the bridge on the left of the video? Then is the outer set of tracks the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail tracks? Then the inner set of curving tracks would be the streetcar tracks. But what, then, is the pair of streetcar tracks which go straight ahead?

    • Yes, the bridge would be on the left of the video. The camera is pointed approximately South-Southwest.

      The tracks coming from the left are from the bridge, but the bridge lands quite a bit further east off camera, there will be an entire station for buses and LRT there just before entering the view of the camera.

      (The streetcar will stop just around the corner after turning north on Moody.)

      The tracks that go straight ahead are the existing NS line tracks on their way to South Waterfront.

      The tracks that exit the right of the frame enter a viaduct that winds its way all the way to downtown at Lincoln and Naito. This viaduct will be shared by buses and LRT, it will make a great transitway into downtown with no intersection interruptions. I suspect it would not have been built this way if the maze of ramps to the Marquam didn’t already dominate the area, preventing a more direct surface route. Elevated transitways are expensive. But it will serve a variety of routes quite effectively.

      A lot of people don’t realize it yet, but over 20% of the length of this project, including the new bridge (which more people know about) is a dedicated transitway meaning that buses as well as rail are served. Buses coming from inner-SE, basically anything south of the railroad tracks that skirt Division, will have an express route all the way from SE 8th or so to Lincoln at Naito, then a short journey on a signalized transit street to the transit mall on 5th/6th. Essentially, even though Portland does not have a BRT route (yet), 20% of this project is providing BRT infrastructure treatments to server our local bus routes.

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