News Release for June 14, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Steven Mason 207-775-4100 Ext. 247


Work To Begin This Week On I-295 Through Portland Area

MaineDOT announced today that work will begin this week on the southbound lanes of I-295 through the greater Portland area. Overnight paving and bridgework are planned from just north of the Maine Turnpike spur in Falmouth through Portland to the tollbooths where I-295 terminates in Scarborough. To minimize impacts on traffic, all paving has been scheduled to occur overnight between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. with single lane closures. Bridgework will be ongoing day and night including weekends, and while single lane closures will be in effect overnight, two lanes of traffic will remain open during daylight hours with few exceptions.

Bradford Foley, Highway Program Manager for MaineDOT said, “The scope of improvements planned for I-295 southbound lanes through the greater Portland area are significant, and because this is one of the most heavily traveled sections of highway in Maine, we’ve planned carefully to get the work done with as little impact as possible on daytime travel.” As an example of the steps taken to minimize impacts, Mr. Foley cited the coordination of MaineDOT and Maine Turnpike construction schedules resulting in completion of paving on the Turnpike from Falmouth to Scarborough before the start of work on I-295’s southbound lanes. “By working together,” Foley said, “we are able to give drivers headed south a way to avoid passing through construction in the Portland area.”

MaineDOT’s planned improvements for I-295 southbound in the greater Portland area include:

Milling and paving of both southbound lanes in the approximately twelve-mile section of I-295 from Falmouth to Scarborough. Resurfacing the southbound lanes on 18 bridges in this section of I-295 that carry traffic over streets, railroads and waterways. Rehabilitation of those bridges as necessary prior to resurfacing. Safety improvements for Franklin Street Exit 7, with the addition of a second lane to the southbound and northbound off-ramps, preventing exiting traffic from backing up onto I-295 travel lanes. Guardrail improvements, with the installation of additional W-Beam and Cable Guardrail Systems in the median from Freeport to Scarborough that will significantly reduce the ability of vehicles to cross the median to collide with oncoming traffic. “As our overnight paving progresses along the length of I-295 through the Portland area, it will be necessary to temporarily close certain exits and on-ramps overnight, requiring drivers to use an alternative exit nearby.” Mr. Foley explained, “We will announce overnight exit closures at least a few days in advance, and signs will be placed at these exits communicating such plans in advance.” Additionally, Mr. Foley stated that the Veranda Street on-ramp in Portland will be closed for an extended period. Foley also stated that on a few occasions in coming weeks, I-295 traffic will be halted altogether for very short periods in the middle of the night in order to allow for the safe installation of signs and trusses overhead.

MaineDOT has awarded the $12.2 million project to The Lane Construction Corporation. One of the nation’s leading heavy civil and transportation construction companies, Lane employs just over 550 Maine men and women during the construction season and operates over a dozen facilities throughout north and central Maine. Lane’s crews will begin work on I-295 southbound lanes this week. Paving is scheduled to be completed by late September, with all details and finish work completed by mid-December.

Meanwhile, other MaineDOT contractors are working on I-295 northbound lanes between the Portland-Falmouth line and Freeport. Paving and bridgework are also being done in that direction, with overnight lane closures happening from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday night through Friday morning.

Mr. Foley stated that total investment being made in 2010 on I-295 in the greater Portland area— southbound and northbound—is $20.6 million. All of the improvements are being funded from MaineDOT’s Interstate Maintenance Fund that is supported in part by Federal Highway Administration dollars. No stimulus funds are being used for these improvements.

MaineDOT encourages drivers to please pay attention to the numerous construction signs, messages on variable message signs and construction updates provided as a public service by local media. Mr. Foley stated: “We can’t emphasize enough the importance of people being aware of Work Zones, slowing down and paying attention to their driving as they approach and pass through construction areas.”

Information on the Greater Portland Area Interstate Improvements for I-295 including project maps, sign-up for email alerts and more is available online at