TriMet pitches I-205 MAX plans to East Portlanders

Wonder why they’re digging up the hillsides along Interstate 205 between Gateway and Clackamas? Read this, and find out how the construction will affect you ‚Ķ

I-205 MAX community affairs reprehensive Leslie Hildula discusses construction issues with Lents resident Larry Sullivan, at the Lents MAX open house.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Larry Sullivan lives in the Lents neighborhood on SE 92nd Avenue. He, and other neighbors, say they’re concerned about the MAX light rail train construction now underway.

“I’m anxiously waiting to see what will be happening,” Sullivan tells us at the TriMet’s open house they are holding in Lents in late January. “They’re closing up SE 94th Avenue, and moving out the houses. All the houses are boarded up. I was hoping there was a meeting instead of an open house.”

But, at the open house, Sullivan meets, and is able to ask questions of Leslie Hildula, community affairs representative for the MAX I-205 project.

“We started to move utilities, fiber optic and water unities in preparation for the project,” Hildula tells us. “I expect to see heavy construction starting in March. We’ll be working our way from the north, near Gateway, south to Clackamas.”

No parking in Lents
Looking at the map, we ask Hildula about parking at the Lents station.

“The Lents/Foster Road Station will primarily be for people walking or take busses to it. The park-and-ride stations are at Powell Blvd. and Holgate Ave.,” she tells us.

At the Mall 205 open house, residents check over a large, photographic map depicting the location and stations of the new I-205 MAX light rail line.

Asked about area disruptions, Hildula says, “One major change will be disruptions in the I-205 Multi-Use path. The construction of the light rail line will go between the freeway and the path. We created an alternative route, so they wouldn’t have to worry about what part is open or closed; they could use SE 92nd Avenue all the way down to Clackamas County.”

Meghan Oldfield, the TriMet’s lead I-205 MAX project engineer talks with George Till at their Mall 205 open house.

Mall 205 gets MAXed out
A few days later, TriMet held another open house, this time at Mall 205.

Neighbors lined up, all looking points of interest or reference, such as their homes, businesses or schools. “We’re showing how we’re bringing MAX to people in outer East Portland and Clackamas County,” says the project manager, Meghan Oldfield.

Former Lents Neighborhood Association chair Judy Welch examines the map, looking at how her area will be served.

Neighbor George Till doesn’t appear to be all that thrilled with the project. “I’m trying to figure out what it all is. It this really approved?”

Yes, George, like it or not, expect construction along the freeway for a year while Portland’s newest light rail line is constructed.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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