This view is from the the early years of MAX, when
there was but a single light rail route, running between downtown Portland and Gresham.
A two-car train is seen here ascending Steel Bridge across the Willamette
River, heading away from the
camera and from center city.
Steel Bridge is classified as a through-truss, double-lift bridge.
An engineering feature that is purported to be unique in the world allows the lower level
to be raised independently from the upper. It is seldom that light rail
traffic must be stopped for river movements -- but it does happen, as the
final page in this segment will document.
The mammoth structure is a landmark very
visible from numerous locations on both sides of the river.
In its first several
handled a few of the city's streetcar routes of an older era; but for many
years no urban electric rail traffic crossed. Light rail began running
over it in 1986.