In the past four years there's been a lot of activity under the Casco Bay Bridge. The International Marine Terminal is now a fully operational freight facility, connecting Maine with the rest of North America and the North Atlantic.
The city of Portland knew they wanted a dedicated freight facility at the International Marine Terminal but lacked the resources to make those plans a reality. In 2008, the Maine Port Authority stepped in and leased the terminal from the city on a longterm lease of 33 years. Since then, the terminal has become a cargo shipping hub.
In 2013, the Maine Port Authority finalized negotiations with the Icelandic shipping company, Eimskip, and the company made Portland their U.S. port-of-call.
The partnership has positioned Maine at the center of shipping lines - connecting Portland to the rest of North America through newly built rail lines and to the North Atlantic through Eimskip's Scandinavian routes. Portland now sees about 31 - 32 container ships per year and John Henshaw, the executive director of the Maine Port Authority, hopes to see that rise to 52 ships annually in the coming years.
To hear the story of the revitalization of Portland as a cargo shipping port and what it means for the Maine economy, listen to the story above.
Wharfside: Stories of Portland Harbor's Working Waterfront explore the people, places, and work in Portland Harbor through photos, audio stories, and video. This project is made possible by the Waterfront Alliance and Casco Bay Estuary Partnership. Produced by Galen Koch © 2016. Photos for this story by Justin Levesque. Music for this piece provided by Ross Gallagher, Loch Lomond, and Andy G. Cohen. Animation assistance from Lake Buckley.