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Milestones reached in Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project

by: David F. Ashton Fred Nolke, the new Eastmoreland representative on the CAC, introduces himself to the panel.

After taking a month off in July, members of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) reunited on August 18.

'We are at a good project milestone,' said TriMet's director of the project, Rob Bernard.

'With the Willamette River bridge groundbreaking in July, the project is underway,' Bernard observed.

'And, we've reached the 60% point on our drawings; we have about 3,000 plan sheets we've done. And, we're getting ready to submit our Full Funding Grant Agreement to the Federal Transit Administration.'

The Full Funding Grant Agreement, Bernard explained, is the contract between the local jurisdictions and the federal government for their half of the funding of the project. 'We're getting ready to submit all the documents for that. The review takes about nine months. It's a mountain of data that we've compiled to submit.'

In July, Bernard said, some 100 management plan documents had been submitted, along with the 3,000 drawing sheets. On August 19, they were scheduled to send the documents detailing the financing side of the project.

Regarding the impending Clackamas County referendum, Bernard said, 'We have met with Clackamas County. The contract between TriMet and Clackamas County provides the county with a variety of options concerning funding. So, we are working with them on the options that they want to be considered. It is a discussion; but there are many options that they're looking at.'

During the meeting, Bernard told the CAC that there is a 'fair amount of uncertainty in Washington, DC'. Pointing to several articles in national publications, he discussed potentials for federal funding for the project.

A new face at the CAC table was Fred Nolke, the new Eastmoreland representative who replaces the departing Dan Packard. Also at the meeting, Michelle Traver gave an update on public art along the alignment, and Claudia Steinberg spoke about the public involvement project

The next CAC meeting is scheduled for September 15 at 6 pm at St. Philip Neri's Carvlin Hall, 2408 S.E. 16th Avenue.