The Maine Department of Transportation announced today that the I-295 Northbound rehabilitation project will be completed early. Weather permitting, the road is expected to reopen as early as the evening of Monday, August 3. Route 201 will continue as an alternate route for southbound travelers for one to two more days as I-295 Southbound is converted back to handling southbound traffic. I-295 Southbound served as an alternate route for northbound travelers during the closure. The project cost $35.3 million to complete and was the first Maine transportation project in 2009 to be 100% funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Despite one of the rainiest construction seasons on record, crews from contractor Pike Industries and their sub-contractors worked seven days a week. They completely rubblized the road, laid 200,000 tons of new asphalt, replaced 60,000 feet of guardrail and rehabilitated six bridges. Unique to the project, two jet dryers were used to help facilitate work during breaks in the weather.
Work will continue on I-295 Northbound for approximately a month as crews continue to install guardrails, pave ramps, and loam and seed the temporary crossovers.
MaineDOT Commissioner David A. Cole said, “We are extremely pleased at how quickly and effectively the road was completed to minimize the impact on motorists and local residents. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved that it was able to be finished early given the rainy construction season.”
To help reduce fuel use and minimize truck travel, Pike installed a temporary asphalt plant directly adjacent to I-295 in Richmond. The plant supplied approximately 67,000 tons of hot mix asphalt for the new road – over 50% of the asphalt used for the entire project. It also recycled 100% of the waste concrete into building up the new shoulders and making new asphalt.
Alternate routes were well marked by MaineDOT traffic engineers to encourage commercial vehicles and other motorists bound for Portland and points south to use the Maine Turnpike, while local traffic was encouraged to use Route 201. A targeted communications campaign was launched to reach local commuters and out-of-state visitors to ensure their awareness of the closure and alternate routes. Additionally, real-time travel information including major delays was made available to the public via a project information line and e-mail alerts. Cameras were also in place along Route 201 and I-295 to allow the public to monitor traffic congestion on the project website.
More information on the project can be found at www.mainedot.gov.
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