News Release for May 9, 2016

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


All of I-395 Completely Open Today at 1 PM

Bangor – The Maine Department of Transportation announced this morning that this weekend’s Webster Avenue Bridge replacement would be completed today (Monday, 5/9) at 1 PM, and that Interstate 395 would return to full operation at that time.

In order to facilitate a quick and efficient swap of the entire overpass in a single extended weekend, construction crews had cordoned off the section of I-395 between Exits 1 and 2 last Friday evening, detouring traffic on two separate routes.

Workers started Friday evening by first removing the existing guardrails. By Sunday morning at 8:45 the 57-year-old Webster Avenue Bridge had been completely demolished and carted away. Working Sunday overnight into Monday, crews successfully paved, installed the new bridge and by mid-morning today, they were replacing the guardrail and striping lanes.

Originally anticipated to take until 7 AM Tuesday, the contractor was able to specify that I-395 would be reopening 18 hours sooner than planned. All told, the vital infrastructure upgrade was completed in just 65 hours.

“This weekend’s weather wasn’t perfect, but light rain here and there did not slow the process down,” said Wayne Frankhauser, Jr., MaineDOT’s Manager of the Urban and Federal Bridge Program. “We had a very coordinated and focused team effort in completing this project with time to spare, which certainly minimized the impact on drivers who rely on this important stretch of highway.”

“MaineDOT would like to thank the Bangor officials who worked closely with us on this project along with the local residents, businesses, and visitors who may have been inconvenienced,” added MaineDOT Press Secretary, Ted Talbot. “We especially want to recognize all of the construction crew members who worked around the clock to make this important infrastructure upgrade a reality.”

MaineDOT officials also expressed their appreciation for all of the drivers whose patience, courtesy and safe driving helped make this weekend’s dramatic bridge replacement project go so smoothly.

Additional Note: Summer Paving Planned for I-395. MaineDOT also plans to pave all of I-395 including all on/off-ramps beginning in late spring. At least one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, and work will be limited to nighttime paving, 6 PM to 6 AM, with the exception that during the American Folk Festival and the Bangor State Fair, work will not begin before 10 PM.

Some ramp closures will be required during the project, however, these are limited to 10 PM to 5 AM with at least a 72-hour notice. While highway work is always weather dependent, MaineDOT estimates that all of the interchange improvements will be completed by November.