MaineDOT

News Release for February 22, 2017

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

 

Speed Limit to be Lowered on I-295

Augusta - On March 27, 2017, the Maine Department of Transportation will be lowering the speed limit on Interstate 295 from Falmouth to Topsham from the current 70 mph to 65 mph.

Since the speed limit increase in 2014 from 65 mph to 70 mph, data shows that I-295 crashes increased by 29% in a two-year span between the year before (June 2013-May 2014) and the year after (June 2015-May 2016). During that same time period, traffic volumes increased by 6.4%.

“It’s important to note, that while an increase in traffic volume on I-295 has led to more crashes, speed and driver distraction are also major factors,” said MaineDOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor. “By lowering the speed limit, we hope to allow drivers more reaction time to any event that may occur on the highway.”

In the past 10 years, MaineDOT has implemented over $24.5 million in mobility and safety improvements including:

  • Exit 3 northbound on-ramp improvements

  • Auxiliary lanes between Exits 3 and 4

  • Exit 11 north bound on-ramp improvements

  • Exit 7 auxiliary lane and off-ramp improvements

  • Exit 15 major improvements

  • Exit 6 traffic operation improvements

-Variable message signs enabling direct communication at key locations

“The increase in traffic crashes along this particular corridor has also resulted in longer traffic delays which often lead to secondary crashes,” said Maine State Police Lt. Colonel Robert A. Williams. “By lowering the speed limit it will reduce crashes which will lead to a reduction in both secondary crashes and longer traffic delays.”
As MaineDOT and other cooperating agencies study the I-295 corridor, future capital investments are identified in the Wok Plan for 2017-2019 that include:

  • Replacement of 25 variable message signs between exits enabling instantaneous and improved communication regarding incidents from weather, crashes, Amber Alerts, etc.

  • A technical update of the prior I-295 Corridor Study to identify and prioritize additional improvements based on updated and forecasted traffic volumes and crashes.

  • Traffic signal with turn lanes at Interstate 295/ Bucknam Road in Falmouth.

  • Evaluation for new southbound access at Exit 4.

  • Lighting replacement at Exit 22 northbound.

  • Traffic signal at the intersection of Route 1 and exit 17 northbound off-ramp.

The speed limit change from 70 mph to 65 mph will occur on March 27, weather permitting. Variable message boards will alert motorists two weeks in advance of this change. Additionally, all physical speed signs will be replaced on the highway by the end of March.

###