That sound isn't a torpedo siren; it's just our annually visiting seamen signaling that they're once again ready to fire their own brand of Tomahawk missiles on willing locals.
It's Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week in Puddletown, and you know what that means? Bridge closures, public transit interruptions, and last but not least: a flood of soon to be drunken, horny sailors inundating downtown Portland watering holes
Tri-Met reports that the 10 ships coming to Portland for the Rose Festival may mean (will mean) MAX and bus delays of up to 15 minutes (read: probably more than 15 minutes) on Wednesday and Thursday, June 4 and 5.
Here are the details on getting around while the big boats visit:
Wednesday, June 4 (2-4 pm)
• The Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges will be open for brief five- to 10-minute periods as U.S. Coast Guard ships arrive.
Thursday, June 5 (2-4 pm and 6-7 pm)
• The Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges will be open for brief 5- to 10-minute periods as U.S. Navy and Canadian Maritime force vessels arrive.
Thursday, June 5 (9-9:30 pm)
• Bridges will open for the departure of the two Tall Sailing Ships.
Monday, June 9 (5-7 am and 9-11 am)
• All remaining Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week vessels will depart. The public is advised to avoid the Broadway and Steel Bridges during this period to avoid traffic delays.
During the lifts, all MAX trains (Blue, Red and Yellow lines) may need to drop riders at the Old Town/Chinatown and Rose Quarter Transit Center stations. Shuttle buses will be available to take MAX riders across the river, but they will have limited options if several bridges are raised at the same time. TriMet staff will assist riders at the Old Town and Rose Quarter stations.
Airport MAX shuttle
During bridge lifts, MAX riders traveling to the airport may board an airport shuttle bus at the Old Town/Chinatown Station that will take them directly to the airport. Riders should schedule extra travel time for their trip.
Bus lines crossing bridges
These 12 bus lines crossing the Broadway, Burnside and Morrison bridges will also experience delays and may have some detours:
• 8-NE 15th Ave
• 10-NE 33rd Ave
• 12-Sandy Blvd
• 44-Mocks Crest
According to KATU
, the direct economic impact of Fleet Week is estimated to be at least $1.4 million (buying Jäger shots for Portland hotties can run up quite a tab). Each of the dollars spent then cycles several times throughout the economy of the local area (hmm…Mary's Club or Magic Gardens?).
So ladies and gents, as these U.S. and Canadian sailors prepare to, um, drop their anchors, give 'em a break for a few minor delays and offer them a salute for service defending their countries (not to mention supporting our local sin-dustry). We'll be back to bitching about downtown construction before you know it.