News Release for August 29, 2012

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


All Ramps To Portland I-295 Northbound Are Now Re-Opened

PORTLAND - Traffic patterns in and around Interstate 295 are returning to normal as MaineDOT announces that all previously closed I-295 northbound ramps are now officially re-opened. However, work on the highway will continue into October, and motorists are advised that added caution and reduced speeds are still mandatory.

The northbound ramp closures were initiated last spring as part of a $7.9 million bridge rehabilitation and maintenance project. Construction crews set up barriers and detour signs to close the Congress Street and Park Avenue on-ramps last March when mild weather helped Maine’s highway construction season get off to an early start. The on and off- ramps at the Forest Avenue interchange were closed in July.

“We are six weeks ahead of schedule on bridge work, but we have a number of tasks remaining,” said David Sherlock, MaineDOT Bridge Program Manager. “We will also be conducting nighttime paving operations, and there will be temporary ramp closures associated with that.”

With the exception of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, construction crews will be working nights, Sunday through Friday, until the project is completed. With nine weeks remaining before the job is done, MaineDOT continues to stress the importance of reduced speed and cautious driving.

“It’s crucial for drivers to know that we still have people on the job in five different work zones,” said Sherlock. “The work zone speed limit of 45 mph is strictly enforced and fines are doubled for violators. Reduced on and off-ramp speed limits need to be observed, as well.”

MaineDOT also encourages drivers to take advantage of a number of information resources available at its website. This year, local and visiting motorists have had the ability to check detailed maps and updates, receive email alerts, and view eight individual webcams that provide shots of north and southbound I-295, updated every five minutes. These resources allow drivers to check for possible traffic congestion before heading out onto the Interstate.

While noting that all highway work is weather dependent, MaineDOT estimates that work on I-295 will continue through October when night paving operations wrap up.

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