News Release for July 7, 2016

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


Selective Cutting Along I-295 to Begin in Late July

Yarmouth – Crews will be selectively cutting trees along I-295 in Yarmouth and Freeport beginning later this month.

Work will be on I-295 from mile marker 14 to mile marker 21 both north and southbound. While there will be no lane closures, this daytime operation may require the occasional closure of shoulders. Motorists are advised to stay alert and remain focused on their driving while traveling through a work zone.

MaineDOT officials met with the municipal leaders of Yarmouth and Freeport and will soon be meeting with area residents that may feel they could be affected by the selective cutting and small areas of clearing. The purpose of these meetings is to give the adjacent property owners and tenants a preview of the work. In addition, the MaineDOT maps on exactly where the clearing will take place will be available at both town halls respectively, as well as our Regional Office in Scarborough.

All state roads are maintained in this fashion for multiple reasons, all having to do with safety. By keeping the roadways clear of encroaching vegetation, the sunlight is able to shine on the road, helping to melt snow and ice in the wintertime when the angle of the sun is at its lowest. In addition, it establishes a safe clear zone should a vehicle leave the travel surface and the ability to see wildlife from a distance that provides the driver and animal time to react.

Clearing trees and brush is not limited to the interstate. For example, Route 11 in Casco/Poland was cleared of brush and trees last year. Route 236 in South Berwick and South Waterboro Road in Waterboro had clearing performed this year. Also, Route 202 from Winthrop to Greene, Route 105 from Appleton to Camden and Route 17 in Readfield are a few examples of statewide clearing efforts.

Maine’s overall leading fatal crash type is lane departure which includes “Went Off Road” and “Head On” crashes. The “Went Off Road” usually involves a motorist striking a fixed object on the roadside. The number one fixed object struck in Maine is trees. They are the fixed object stuck most frequently, and by far, result in the most deaths.

The annual yearly average of motorists striking trees over a four year period is over 1,700, resulting in 37 deaths. In fact, between June 26th and July 6th of this year, there were five fatalities where a motorist struck a tree(s).

“Having a clear zone along our roadways is an important consideration in road design,” said MaineDOT Safety Manager Duane Brunell. “The higher the speed, the wider the recovery area should be. The interstate system is a system where cars can travel the fastest. If they lose control, it can take some distance to safely stop. Clearing our roadways of brush and tress is a first step to help ensure our roads are safe, both for visibility and to help reduce the number of crashes.”

The selective cutting in Yarmouth and Freeport is expected to be completed in August, 2016.