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TriMet says MAX project has created 10,298 jobs

The Portland-to-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project has created 10,298 jobs, according to Neil McFarlane, TriMet's general manager.

McFarlane made the announcement during the Wednesday morning ceremony where the name of the project's Willamette River bridge was announced as Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.

When the name was announced, members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde performed a Native American drumming ceremony for the crowd gathered at OMSI on the west bank of the Willamette River. Member David Lewis said they were honored the same selected by a citizen committee reflected the heritage of the earliest people who lived along the river.

McFarlane says the project has already provided a record $153 million in contracts to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms that are owned by women and minorities.

According to McFarlane, the project is expected to create over 14,000 jobs before it is complete in September 2015.

"These jobs were needed in the worst way when the project started a few years ago," said McFarlane, referring to the height of the Great Recession when construction began.

The 7.3 mile, $1.49 billion project is extended MAX from downtown Portland through Milwaukie.