Portland interstate max 

Metropolitan area express light rail

In the early 1980s, WSP, in joint venture, prepared an alternatives analysis and a draft environmental impact statement that examined options for light rail and expanded bus service for the Portland metropolitan area. The TriCounty Metropolitan Transit District of Oregon (TriMet) opted to build one of the first modern light rail systems in the United States, known as MAX (Metropolitan Area Express).




95% 95%
The number of stations Interstate MAX LTR connects with
10 10
4.8 KM 4.8 KM

WSP performed preliminary engineering and prepared final designs for the 5.8-mile, 10-station Interstate MAX LRT extension in Portland, Oregon.

The Interstate extension connects with MAX’ Banfield Line at the Rose Garden transit center and run to the Exposition Center near the Columbia River. It serves as the transit spine for the North Portland Urban Renewal District, benefiting both businesses and residents.

After analyzing freeway and other alignments, an alignment running primarily along the center of Interstate Avenue was selected as the preferred alternative.

This alignment provides an efficient alternative to automobile travel in the busy I-5/Interstate Avenue corridor, thereby taking cars off the roads. It is easily accessible from existing development and revitalizes employment, housing and retail development along the corridor. It also expands the regional mass transit system to link to job centers throughout the metropolitan area.

The design incorporated proven elements from the existing Banfield and Westside Corridor lines and proposed to add a number of innovations to better fit the community it serves.

Among the technical improvements was an efficient trackway design that limited the need to relocate utilities and the extent of street reconstruction, and provided access for emergency vehicles and the next generation of low-floor vehicles.

Several broad-based revitalization measures had been coupled with LRT-related street improvements to take full advantage of the opportunities at hand. These included the establishment of tax increment funding, local improvement district, and urban renewal districts.


  • Community relations support

  • Operating plan support

  • Updating design standards

  • Surveying and mapping

  • Track work and alignment design

  • Urban design

  • Station design

  • Park-and-ride design

  • Traffic engineering

  • Geo technical studies

  • Preliminary systems engineering

  • Utilities design

  • Cost estimating 


  • Portland, Oregon, USA

Project Value

  • $8,800,000.00

Project Status

  • complete