Portland Jetport emergency exercise June 5 expected to cause traffic mess

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The northbound lanes of the Veterans Memorial Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, while emergency workers participate in a large-scale aviation emergency training exercise.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes and expect delays.

Portland City Hall Spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said in a press release the training will center around a scenario in which a plane bound for the Portland International Jetport crashes into the Fore River, just south of the bridge.

Emergency crews from Portland, South Portland and the U.S. Coast Guard will participate along with state, county and private entities. Events will include search-and-rescue operations throughout the day.

Clegg said motorists should expect traffic delays along the Fore River Parkway and Commercial Street in Portland. Waterfront businesses and residents should expect increased traffic.

The training exercise is required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration to test the Jetport’s policies and emergency procedures.