On Wednesday, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) will be closing two rest areas along I-95 in Pittsfield, and privatizing the custodial services at five other rest areas along I-95 and I-295, all of which will remain open.
The changes at these rest areas are part of a cost-cutting move designed to reduce MaineDOT’s budget. This move will eliminate 19 state positions and is projected to save over $690,000 over the two-year budget period.
The two Pittsfield Rest Areas will be closed the evening of Wednesday, June 17. Signs will be erected on I-95 alerting motorists to the closing. These Pittsfield rest areas were selected for closure due to the fact that other Interstate rest areas are located in West Gardiner and Hampden; and that ten miles north of these two facilities at Exit 157 in Newport there are restaurants, convenience stores, restrooms and parking 24 hours a day. Similar services are also available at Exit 133 in Fairfield.
At the rest areas that remain open in Kittery, Yarmouth, Hampden, Medway and Houlton, MaineDOT has hired cleaning-service companies that will maintain the outside grounds and the interiors of the buildings. Pegasus Cleaning Corporation of Buffalo, New York was awarded the contract for the rest areas at Kittery and Yarmouth, and Bangor Abatement Incorporated was awarded the contract for Hampden, Medway and Houlton.
These companies were selected through the state’s competitive bidding process that saw ten companies bidding on the contracts.
Visitor services that include tourism information will remain the same at the rest areas in Kittery, Yarmouth, Hampden and Houlton. These Visitor Information Centers are operated by the Maine Office of Tourism, and provide an important service to Maine’s tourism industry.
MaineDOT will continue to operate more than 50 rest areas throughout the state at a cost of approximately $2 million annually.
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