Interested in Portland?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Portland each week.
Topics include Transportation, United States: For Foreign Visitors & more!
The Casco Bay Bridge is a draw-bridge, reported by some to have the largest draw-bridge mechanism in the United States. The draw-bridge takes between 15 and 30 minutes to allow ships to pass. It has also been known to suffer mechanical problems in cold weather, some leading to multi-hour crossing delays. Because of such problems, Portland's police chief has referred to the the Casco Bay Bridge as "the bridge from h*ll."
Some locals get out of their cars while waiting for the drawbridge to close. However, that practice has not be endorsed by local authorities and can be unsafe. It is done at the driver's own risk.
From the bridge, you can see the working waterfront of the city of Portland. You may see fishing vessels (mostly lobster boats), as well as the Casco Bay Ferries which go out to the surrounding islands. On the bridge you will also see the skyline of city of Portland, a city of generally lowset buildings. You will also see South Portland on the opposite side of the harbor. If you happen to be waiting at around 8AM on the Portland side from Friday thu Sunday, May thru Sept you can also see "The Cat" which is a catamaran that cruises from Portland to Nova Scotia.
If you are on the South Portland side of the bridge there is a park off either Ocean Street or down Waterman Drive, both right off the bridge.. The park allows you see the underside of the bridge and, if you go while the bridge is up, isome might find that an interesting sight.
There's a bicycle lane to cross the bridge, but some drivers do not respect this lane and accidents have occurred. The speed limit over the bridge is posted at 40MPH, however most cars go above. You may want to use the sidewalk to bike on, although this is against the law.
Also, on the sidewalk on the South Portland side, there's a ramp to go down with a few turns and steep decline that leads to the park. There are a handful restaurants if you choose to sit and enjoy the view.