PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the first time in three years, the big ships are back for Fleet Week in Portland and the big bridge lifts that come along with them began Wednesday afternoon.
The first ships, the HMCS Edmonton and the Ironwood, arrived Wednesday afternoon. Four more ships with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are expected to sail in from Astoria and join this fleet Thursday afternoon between 3 and 4 p.m.
Most of the arrivals will take place during the afternoon commute hours. Departures will take place on Sunday, June 12 and Monday, June 13, mostly during the morning commute hours.
According to Multnomah County, while the ships are coming and going, bridge lifts are expected to impact traffic on the Broadway and Burnside Bridges. Normal river traffic may result in the Morrison Bridge lifting during or near Fleet Week ship arrivals. Rose Festival officials say the Steel Bridge, which is operated by Union Pacific Railroad, will need to lift too.
Boating in the area will be restricted during the event, as the Coast Guard says the harbor will become a secured river zone. All of the participating ships will be offering tours on a first-come, first-serve basis, but guests must be fully vaccinated with closed shoes and valid ID to come aboard.
KOIN 6 News’ Joelle Jones contributed to this report.