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PORTLAND, Ore. TriMet is finishing repair work that it began in Oct. on the all-important Steel Bridge.

The bridge is more than a century old and functions as the link for Max trains between the east and west sides of the Willamette River.

Unfortunately, the old lift bridge is a maintenance headache for TriMet Maintenance of Way crews.

In Oct., workers noticed excessive wear on the west end of the bridge.

Obviously it s an old bridge. It has a lot of trains and needs a lot of attention, said Mary Fetsch, spokeswoman for TriMet.

Crews fixed tracks, but then discovered problems with the electrical components under the asphalt.

Riders experienced delays because of the problems and the repair work to fix it.

Delays are nothing new on the Steel bridge, which handles nearly 600 trains a day.

A lot of times it gets annoying here and there. But we try and be patient, said rider Darryl Hartley.

TriMet says it is doing all it can to fix problems on the bridge and make track and signal improvements all along the 50-mile system.

It's spending $2.5 million over the next 18 months for those improvements.But the Steel Bridge may always be a thorn in the side of maintenance crews.

To see on time performance rates and other TriMet statistics, click here.

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