News Release for November 4, 2011

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297


I-295 Project Officially Finished For This Year

I-295 Project Officially Finished For This Year

Improvements Enhance Safety On One of Maine’s Most Important And Frequently Traveled Highways

Portland, ME - Maine motorists, tourists, and truck drivers may notice something missing on Intersate 295 this week. After nearly six months and some 84.14 lane miles of fresh pavement, the orange barrels have disappeared from the southernmost stretch of I-295 indicating that Maine Department of Transportation’s $22.4 million highway improvement undertaking is officially done for this year.

As anyone who has traveled I-295 from the Scarborough toll booths to Brunswick can tell you, the signs of on-going construction were always present from late spring on, and the work involved lit up the night as construction crews were on the job predominantly from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.

“We really want to express our thanks to area businesses and motorists for their patience during this important project,” said David Sherlock, MaineDOT Bridge Program Manager. “We realize that ongoing construction activity was difficult at times but we made significant strides in improving one of Maine’s busiest highways.’

All told, construction crews paved 40 miles of highway and 36 on and off-ramps, completed maintenance and repairs on 29 bridges and overpasses, most notably all eight lanes of Tukeys Bridge, and installed 1,200 feet of drainage culvert and 14 miles of new guardrail. The state has scheduled more I-295 improvements for next year as well.

MaineDOT had developed a complex plan including lane closures, detours, temporary traffic signals, and a concrete barrier that cordoned off access to and from Washington Avenue outbound from Portland in order to facilitate the highway repairs and improvements as efficiently as possible.

In addition, the overnight work schedule meant that motorist inconvenience would be minimized as contractors committed their workforces to the least traveled hours in the middle of the night.

“Despite our best efforts, traffic congestion did result on occasion from delays caused by minor accidents,” said Sherlock. “This does highlight the importance of safe driving, and we’re very appreciative of those motorists who obeyed reduced speed limits and drove cautiously through our work zones.”

Over the course of the project, segments of which actually began in May of 2010, approximately 18 million cars and trucks traveled through MaineDOT’s work zones during construction.

“Maintaining the quality of Maine’s highway infrastructure is critical to our mission of using available funding to responsibly provide the safest and most reliable transportation possible,” added Sherlock. “The I-295 project is a genuine example of that commitment.”