March 30, 2012

Obama's visit will affect bus service, travel routes

Police advise drivers to anticipate road closures, delays and the need for additional travel time.

By Kelley Bouchard
Staff Writer

Travel routes and bus schedules will be affected this afternoon and evening, when certain streets will be closed for President Obama’s campaign events at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland and the Portland Museum of Art.

Streets around the Portland Museum of Art will be closed to pedestrians and motorists today from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to President Obama's visit.

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Police advise drivers and pedestrians to anticipate road closures, delays and the need for additional travel time from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in South Portland and from 6 to 10 p.m. in Portland.

The presidential motorcade from the Portland International Jetport to the college, from the college to the museum, then back to the jetport will cause “rolling” street closures and minor traffic delays.
Police wouldn’t release the exact route of the motorcade or other details, for security reasons.

In South Portland, longer closures are likely on roads that run through the waterfront campus, including Benjamin Pickett and Fort streets.

In Portland, these streets will be closed from 6 to 10 p.m.:

• High Street between Danforth and Congress streets.

• Spring Street between Park and Oak streets.

• Free Street between Congress and Oak streets.

• Oak Street between Free and Spring streets.

For passengers of the South Portland Bus Service, schedules will be interrupted, but drivers and dispatchers will try to minimize inconvenience. Buses may be restricted from access to certain stops, even if other vehicles are passing, according to South Portland officials.

In downtown Portland, all stops from 5 to 9:30 p.m. will be on York or Fore streets. During that period, the bus will pick up passengers at a temporary stop at Fore and Union streets, in front of the Portland Harbor Hotel. The bus also will make regular stops along York Street at Pleasant, High and State streets.

In South Portland, from 2 to 6:30 p.m., the bus for Willard Square and SMCC will stop on Preble at Fort Street and Broadway.

Passengers on buses traveling to the Maine Mall, near the jetport, should anticipate delays throughout the afternoon and evening.

The jetport is advising passengers to arrive two hours before their departure time, and to check with their airline for any updates in departure times – particularly people who are traveling between 3 and 8.30 p.m.

Anyone who is picking up passengers in the afternoon should check with the airlines for arrival times.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at

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