PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Department of Transportation is planning more daytime construction work on I-295 in Portland and said they are doing it because traffic volumes have remained low during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Maine DOT, traffic volume on I-295 in Portland was down about 60 percent in late March from what it normally is at that time of year.
On April 20, Maine DOT started repairing bridge joints on the southbound side of the interstate between Tukey’s Bridge and Fore River. The project has involved extended lane and ramp closures. To date, Maine DOT said the project has been a successful one and that they're making important safety improvements to I-295 and doing so in the daytime, when conditions are safer and construction costs are lower.
The department has also worked with CPM Constructors in Freeport to develop a plan to complete a portion of similar work on the northbound side of I-295. Maine DOT said the plan will allow them to complete bridge joint modifications on Tukey’s Bridge as well as on the bridges at Franklin Street, Preble Street, and Forest Avenue.
Maine DOT is planning to start this bridge work on Monday, May 11. The department will allow CPM to maintain one lane of traffic on the northbound side of the interstate until Thursday, May 21, just before Memorial Day weekend. After Memorial Day, the contractor will maintain two lanes of through traffic. Maine DOT expects to complete this bridge joint work by Friday, June 5. Paving work will be completed at night after June 5th.
Maine DOT said the opportunity to allow daytime work will improve worker safety, minimize impact on the traveling public, save taxpayer dollars, and potentially minimize the amount of night work they will have to do after traffic volumes increase.