GRAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The southbound on-ramp at Exit 63 on the Maine Turnpike in Gray will be closed for the weekend beginning 10 a.m. Friday.

This is to complete the final steps needed to open the new southbound toll plaza in time for the Monday morning commute on October 24.

The new southbound off-ramp will be open to drivers exiting the Turnpike at Gray beginning Friday. The ramp bears right, leading to an intersection created by the addition of the new toll plaza where Route 26A joins Route 202 on the western side of the Turnpike.

The purpose of the design of the new interchange is to ease traffic congestion during peak commuting hours.

“Southbound entering the turnpike in the morning is one of the busiest times at the Exit 63 plaza and afternoon northbound off is the busiest,” said Erin Courtney of the Maine Turnpike Authority. “It made sense to separate these rather than them all going through the same ramp.”

The work being done at Exit 63 consists of highway, bridge, signage and toll system improvements at the Gray interchange. In addition to the improvements associated with the new southbound ramps and new southbound toll, the contractor is also performing work along the Maine Turnpike, the northbound ramps, Route 202 and Route 26A. The toll plaza work includes a new toll administration building located by the southbound ramps and reconstruction of the existing toll plaza for the northbound ramps.

The total Exit 63 Interchange Project cost was estimated at approximately $10.7 million and the primary contractor for the project is Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham.