PORTLAND, Maine — Homeless encampments alongside exits on I-295 in Portland were removed by state authorities Friday.
The Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Department of Public Safety worked to clear the encampments at the interchanges of Exits 5, 6, and 7 along the highway, spokesperson for MaineDOT Paul Merrill told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Merrill cited safety reasons as a motive for clearing the unhoused encampments, noting they "posed an immediate risk to the safety of the unhoused people and to the traveling public."
The two departments are reportedly monitoring other unhoused encampments that are on state-owned property, including one by the Park and Ride by Marginal Way in Portland, Merrill added.
Merrill said the departments will continue to assess any safety risk posed to unhoused people, as well as the traveling public.