By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,514)
“There are many things that make Portland unique. One of them is the islands off the coast. Soon we will be able to serve the islands in a way we haven’t been able to in the past,” said Mayor Michael Brennan this morning at the groundbreaking for a $3 million addition to the Casco Bay Lines headquarters, 56 Commercial Street.
Custom House Wharf was the original site of the Lines headquarters. It was built sometime in the late 1800′s estimated City Councilor Nick Mavadones, operations manager for the Lines. The facility at this location was built in 1987 – 1988 and intended to serve 500,000 customers. For the last several years, the facility has come to serve almost one million people annually, said Hank Berg, general manager.
The current waiting room will be expanded to double its current size and will be glass enclosed. The windows will look out over the busiest gates; four and five. Bathrooms, ticket office and all services will be relocated to this end of the facility as well. “There’s been a disconect between passengers and boarding ferries for a long time. With this expansion, boat rides will start before you get on board the ferry,” said Austin Simmons architect.
The project is expected to take eight months to complete.