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Page 6. MAINE COASTAL NEWS November 2015 PORT SAFETY FORUM SEPTEMBER MEETING Cruise Ship Season Update:


Amy Powers (Cruise Maine USA) de- livered a presentation outlining the current state of the cruise ship industry in the State of Maine. Cruise Maine USA is a port mar- keting coalition serving 12 ports in Maine and two in Atlantic Canada. Cruise Maine works under the umbrella of the Maine Port Authority to represent the cruise ship marketing and community relation’s efforts. This season (2015) will bring 427 cruise ship visits to our ports which represents 27 different cruise ships from 17 different cruise brands. The passenger bed day yield for this number of calls is estimated to be nearly 290,000 - this represents an increase of 11% over the 2014 season. The estimated economic impact of the cruise ship industry in Maine is 46.2 million dollars annually. Maine continues to enjoy continued overall growth in cruise ship tourism with Amer- ican Cruise Lines homeporting two small cruise ships in Portland and its sister com- pany, Pearl Seas homeporting Pearl Mist in Portland. Likewise, Blount homeported the small cruise ship Grand Carib in Portland. Also, showing growth includes Haimark Cruise lines which called on Maine ports for the fi rst time in 2015; homeporting Saint Laurent in Portland. Also showing great


promise, 3 cruise ships will make maiden voyages to Maine in 2016 and 3 additional companies are considering deployment of cruise ships to the region.


Sarah Long Bridge Update Mr. Ron Taylor (MaineDOT) updated the forum regarding the Sarah Long Bridge replacement. The bridge replacement proj- ect is a joint venture between the Maine and New Hampshire Departments of Trans- portation, with MaineDOT serving as the lead. The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, built in 1940, provides a regional link between Maine and New Hampshire, and is the critical back-up route in case of disruption on the Interstate 95 bridge. Several issues were identifi ed as defi cient or obsolete with the current bridge including: the horizontal clearance; the alignment of the bridge; and the vertical clearance of the closed span. The new bridge will improve these issues with a revised design. Specifi cally, MaineDOT reviewed several alignment options and worked closely with the Portsmouth Pilots to improve the bridge alignment to be closer to 90° to the chan- nel. The fi nal agreed upon angle reduces the skewed passage of the ship through the bridge from 25° to 15°. The new bridge


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will have anincreased horizontal clearance from 175 feet (existing) to approximately 250 feet between fenders which will allow ships to safely transit the bridge span with tugs alongside. The new bridge will have a “closed” vertical clearance of 56 feet which will improve traffi c fl ow and reduce the need for bridge lifts. The reduction in bridge lifts will reduce wear and tear on the bridge gear. The new bridge will have an open vertical clearance of 135 feet at mean high water. During the various phases of the project construction barges will be deployed in the channel between the new abutments which will limit horizontal clearance to about 183’. The barges and can be moved with prior notice and coordination with the on-site contractors. The waterway is expected to experience planned closures for periods of up to 5 days during span installation, which is expected in November 2016. Time Line – The design process began in 2013 and construction started in January, 2015; The existing bridge is scheduled to be closed from November 1, 2016 to Septem- ber 1, 2017; The new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge opens to traffi c September, 2017; and the project is scheduled to be completed by


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Portsmouth Coast Pilot Update - LT Metz, MSD Portsmouth LT Metz briefed the forum on the status of the Coast Pilot update for Portsmouth and the surrounding waterways. In a collabo- rative effort between the Coast Guard, NH Port Authority, Portsmouth Pilots and other stakeholders, nearly 60 updates to the Coast Pilot were identifi ed and re-drafted. Most of items revised administrative components such as business names and removing obso- lete facilities. The proposed amendments were captured in a memorandum and sub- sequently e-mailed to the Port Safety Forum distribution list for fi nal forum review and comment. The fi nal day to comment is Oc- tober 17, 2015. Comments may be e-mailed to brian.downey@marinecs.com. If you did not receive the draft amendments and would like an opportunity to review them, please e-mail brian.downey@marinecs.com. Once all comments are received the proposed amendment memorandum will be refreshed and sent to NOAA via the First Coast Guard


Continued on Page 20.


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