October 10, 2011

TriMet light rail project honored for environmental documentation

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet and the agency's regional government partner were honored for "Excellence" for the environmental report produced for the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail project.

TriMet and Oregon Metro were awarded the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Presentation for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) produced for the 7.3-mile project that includes 10 stations and the first bridge constructed over the Willamette River in more than 40 years.

The EIS details the benefits, impacts and costs of the project in a clear, concise publication meant to be easily understood by the public and project stakeholders. When presenting the award this week, the FTA noted that the project EIS "distinguishes itself in a number of ways," highlighting the document's "plain language and clear writing," easy to understand graphics, and inclusion of climate change information, along with the project's overall "comprehensive public involvement approach" and detailed website.

The project EIS was prepared by Metro and TriMet with key consultant assistance from Parametrix.

The 7.3-mile project is the region's sixth MAX line to be built and extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University to South Waterfront, Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and Park Avenue in Clackamas County.

The project includes 10 stations and the first bridge constructed over the Willamette River in more than 40 years. It will create up to 14,000 jobs and generate $573 million in personal earnings. Federal funds will pay for half of the $1.49 billion project, state and local partners are funding the balance. TriMet's share is less than 5 percent of the project budget and will not be needed until 2013. The line is set to open in September 2015.

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