What Happens If the Casco Bay Bridge in Portland Gets Stuck and Can’t Open for an Oncoming Tanker?
Did you know that our Portland harbor is the second-largest tonnage seaport in New England and the second-largest oil port on the East Coast? We have a lot of BIG ships that enter our harbor. These tankers are 550 feet long and weigh 23,000 TONS. That's a lot of momentum, so, it's NOT that easy to just hit the breaks and stop if you need to. So. what happens if the tanker is headed under the Casco Bay Bridge and the bridge won't open? Maybe you've been stuck on the bridge before. Believe me, it's WAY more disconcerting if you're piloting a tanker and the bridge gets stuck!. That's where Portland's fantastic tugboats come in. The tugs meet the tankers about 3 miles out and guide them in. These people are pros and are ready for anything. If they are approaching the Casco Bay Bridge and it gets stuck (and it happens), then these men and women spring into action. Someone jumps from the tugboat over to the tanker and they tie a line together. Then they use the tugboat's 6,000 horsepower engines to try and slow down and guide the tanker. Keep in mind the tankers are 100 times heavier than the tankers. Talk about nerve-racking!