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Light-rail open house set

Funding questions are not only facing highway projects. Metro and TriMet currently are working to develop firm budget estimates for the next phase of the region’s light-rail system, the proposed MAX line connecting downtown Portland to Milwaukie. The alignment of the proposed 6.5-mile line between the two cities originally was approved between 1999 and 2003. Several developments have occurred over the past three years that are reopening the discussions, however. At the Portland end, redevelopment in the South Waterfront urban renewal area near the proposed line is happening faster than planned. Unexpected land and financial contributions have allowed the Oregon Health and Science University to begin planning for its satellite campus ahead of schedule, prompting it and city officials to ask whether the proposed light rail should be moved farther south in the area than previously thought. In Milwaukie, the location of the end of the line is up in the air. Additional research showed that the original site was donated to the city on the condition that it be used as a park. To help determine what local residents want to do now, Metro and TriMet have scheduled a Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project open house from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Clackamas Educational Service District office, 4011 S.E. Lake Road, Milwaukie. For information, call 503-797-1757, or e-mail trans @metro-region.org. — Jim Redden