The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) is set to receive a construction grant award of $99.9m from the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
This grant will be used for ‘A Better Red’, the MAX Red Line Extension and Reliability Improvements Project in the Portland metro area.
The combined cost of this project stands at $215m. This includes $99.9m in funding, which will be delivered through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Programme.
Connecting Beaverton, Portland International Airport, and the Gateway Transit Centre, the 12.55km red line extension is anticipated to offer a frequent and low-carbon transportation option for commuters.
The track, switch and signalisation work implemented under the project will enable the MAX Red Line to serve ten extra stations that are currently only served by the Blue Line.
Under this project, an operator break centre at the Red Line’s new terminus in Hillsboro will also be added.
With the addition of a second track to two single-track segments of the Red Line, the project is expected to address current bottlenecks that affect the interconnected light rail system’s schedule.
With the inclusion of the second track, the project will also reconstruct the Portland International Airport MAX Station, as well as build a new station at the Gateway/NE 99th Ave Transit Centre.
To support the increased service, the project also involves four new light rail vehicles.
TriMet general manager Sam Desue Jr said: “The MAX Red Line expansion and improvement project, which we call A Better Red, is a prime example of embracing ways to address climate change, while putting people to work and making the transit system operate at peak efficiency.”
The project’s construction is expected to commence this fall, with the MAX Red Line service to begin in 2024.
Earlier this month, USDOT announced plans to provide up to $3.84bn in Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans for the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit).