SHARECOMMENTMORE

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Members of the Casco Bay Ferry Lines Board today gave final approval to a major renovation project down along the Portland waterfront at the ferry terminal and pier.

The 3-million dollar project will double the size of the terminal and upgrade the pier where the fleet of 5 ferries dock. Ferry officials increasing passenger demand is the motivation behind the project.

"In the summer the lines can be from the ticket office all the way out the doors and it's just a very crowded, uncomfortable situation", said General Manager Hank Berg.

When the ferry terminal was built 25 - years ago it was constructed to handle about a half million passengers a year. Now it's handling twice that, 1-million riders.

The most noticeable thing for passengers will be the new waiting room. It's being moved and expanded. It seems most people don't wait in there that much. Instead they go out back to watch their boats come in. So that's where the waiting room will be.

"We are doubling that to 6-Thousand Square Feet, at the end of the terminal with 18 to 20 Foot high ceilings with glass so you can watch the boats, when your boat comes in you can visually see that", said Berg.

The project is being funded with federal grant dollars so there will be no increase in ticket prices to pay for it.

The terminal will remain open to serve passengers while the renovation project is underway. It's expected to be completed by October.