Here we see the weirdness that was 39th at Sandy Blvd before construction of the Metropolitan Area Express triggered a reconfig of the area. As we celebrate MAX on its 30th birthday and remember the excitement of the breakthrough it symbolized, few will recall that a significant portion of the funds diverted from the Mt. Hood Freeway were actually spent on freeway construction. I-84 and its associated interchanges from Lloyd to I-205 was nearly completely rebuilt due to the project’s dedicated ROW and clearance issues with existing overpasses through that area.
Also timely to note how much things have changed in how TriMet finances these mega-projects. Back in ’86 when the original Eastside MAX was budgeted, the Democratically controlled federal government kicked in an incredible 83% of money. Contrast this with the scant 50% for Orange’s massive $1.46 billion pricetag.
Indeed, something has changed. And more change is coming January 20. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear something worth celebrating.