Transportation Committee hears about possible tunnel


Bihn   The WEA Transportation Committee met with Metro's Matt Bihn this week to talk about funding for a study, which would look at creating a MAX tunnel between Lloyd Center and Goose Hollow downtown. 

   Part of the reason for looking at a tunnel is because of an aging Steel Bridge (built in 1910), light rail speed through downtown, and the ability to add capacity.
   Bihn said the most trains that can cross the Steel Bridge are 40 an hour, and the tracks cannot be expanded.
   Taking light rail from the east side to the Westside has been an issue in terms of the amount of time it takes.
   Right now it takes MAX 22 minutes to roll the three miles through the downtown area (Lloyd Center to Goose Hollow), causing it to be a less attractive means of transportation.
  According to Bihn, a tunnel would save 15 minutes on that three mile trip.
  Light rail trains are also limited right now to two cars, but with a tunnel, it could have up to four cars, allowing for more capacity.
  More trains cars would also mean some Westside stations would have to be retrofitted for four cars.
   For more information, visit Metro's website.