News Release for March 6, 2012

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


MaineDOT Details 2012 I-295 Northbound

Portland, ME. Citing the importance of driver awareness, caution, and patience, the Maine Department of Transportation held a press conference this morning to provide a detailed look at this year’s Interstate 295 construction plan.

The primary goal for this year’s $7.9 million project work is to conduct maintenance and repairs on 13 bridges and overpasses from the Maine Turnpike Approach Road overpass to the Route 26/Washington Avenue on ramp. All work is confined to I-295’s northbound lane.

Some preliminary construction will occur this month, setting the stage for the actual bridge repairs to start at the beginning of April.

“Safety is always our first priority,“ said Joyce Taylor, Director of MaineDOT Bureau of Project Development. “We’ve worked very closely with our engineers in modeling different strategies for preventing accidents and minimizing inconvenience for motorists. We believe we have a very workable plan.”

This year’s plan has been divided into five specific work zones:

Work Zone One: Maine Turnpike Approach Road Work Zone Two: Westbrook Street Work Zone Three: Fore River Bridge to St. John Street Work Zone Four: Forest Avenue to Franklin Street Work Zone Five: Washington Avenue On-Ramp

Ramp closures at two of the work zones will dictate that drivers seek alternative routes.

In April, at the Congress Street interchange, both the Park Street and Congress Street on-ramps will be closed, but all off-ramps will remain open.

Beginning in July at the Forest Avenue interchange, the Exit 6B/Forest Avenue off-ramp and the Forest Avenue “eastbound” on-ramp will be closed for the duration of work at that location.

Motorists destined for points north of Portland may want to use the Maine Turnpike.

A full plan including suggested detours is available at MaineDOT’s website

David Sherlock, MaineDOT Bridge Program Manager, noted that MaineDOT has incorporated a number of strategies to enhance the flow of traffic. “We decided not to be working on the two biggest segments of the project at the same time, which will reduce the likelihood of traffic backups,” said Sherlock.

Work between the Fore River Bridge and St. John Street overpass will be finishing up in late July as the Forest Avenue interchange work is just getting underway.

A metered traffic signal at the Fore River Parkway on-ramp will operate from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to control traffic onto I-295.

While highway work is always weather dependent, MaineDOT estimates that all of the bridge repair work will be completed by early September. However, night paving operations will continue into October.

The I-295 Northbound Project’s engineering and design work was done by HNTB Corporation, located in Westbrook, and the construction contract was awarded to CPM Constructors of Freeport.

A related presentation by the Maine State Police had specific recommendations for drivers on handling minor collisions if there are no injuries. Sgt. Jonathan Shapiro stressed that motorists should try to move vehicles out of the flow of traffic to help prevent traffic backups.

Drivers are encouraged to visit MaineDOT’s website, for more details including maps, updates, and web cams, and to sign up for email alerts.

MaineDOT appreciates the patience of all motorists during this construction period, and also asks motorists to drive safely through all work zones.