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Bybee Bridge gets elevators to MAX station

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - A Lorentz Bruun Construction worker lifts steel bars on a high lift, as the Bybee Station light rail elevator project gets underway.Laying track and installing equipment for the TriMet Portland-Milwaukie MAX light rail line continues vigorously, down S.E. 17th Avenue in Brooklyn and along McLoughlin Boulevard opposite Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, and Sellwood.

But, beside the Bybee Bridge, steel frameworks have been rising on both sides of the bridge – and have been catching the eye of travelers through the area.

Mark Bruun, of Lorentz Bruun Construction, was watching his company’s crew install heavy metal beams when THE BEE visited the worksite.

“Stacy and Witbeck, the managing partners on the project, selected our company to construct the elevators and the ramp walkways down to the platform at the Bybee Boulevard Station,” Bruun said.

His company, and his family, have deep roots in the area, Bruun remarked. “Grandpa grew up in Eastmoreland, and graduated from Cleveland High School. And, our company has been located just east of the Brooklyn Yard since 1946. “Grandpa Lawrence Bruun was one of the first to sign up with the State Contractors Licensing Board – which is why our company holds CLB certificate #33!”

The elevator shaft project involves “a lot of steel”, Bruun revealed. The two lifts will be “traction elevators”, hoisted by counterweighted steel cables running through a powered sheave.

“Because the towers will be wrapped in glass, it’s going to be pretty cool-looking. It will add a lot of value to the neighborhood,” Bruun said.