Thursday, September 09, 2010

Portland streetcar service faces disruption

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Portland, Ore.’s TriMet says the Portland Streetcar will be suspended for two weeks, beginning Sept. 13, to allow construction to connect the new eastside streetcar line to the existing westside line in the Pearl District. TriMet will provide shuttle bus service along the westside line from Sept. 13 to 26.

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The agency had weighed continued service, but found construction work would prevent the individual streetcars from being returned to their maintenance yard in Northwest Portland for storage every night. That would require the hiring of security guards to protect them overnight, a TriMet spokesperson said. And shuttle buses would still be required to move passengers along the closed portion of the route.

When completed, the eastside line will carry passengers over the Broadway Bridge through the inner eastside to Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI). A new (non-auto) bridge over the Willamette River connecting OMSI to South waterfront is planned aspart of the Portland to Milwaukie MAX light rail line. It will also carry streetcars to the southern end of the westside line, creating a compete loop through west and east Portland.