An Older Time

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 decades it 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.

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