Bridge work on I-295 in Portland may cause headaches

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PORTLAND — Bridge projects on Interstate 295 will make noise and require lane closures beginning Thursday, July 7.

Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said repainting of several structures will begin with the Deering Avenue overpass and the I-295 overpasses above Preble Street.

“Painting these bridges is not a cosmetic fix,” he said. “Painting extends the life of these bridges that carry traffic through the Portland corridor.”

It is expected the jobs will take four to six weeks each, and then contractors will move to jobs on the I-295 overpasses above Forest Avenue and the railroad tracks near St. John Street.

Those jobs are also expected to take four to six weeks, Talbot said.

Talbot said the work will be noisy because crews will blast away old paint using steel grit before repainting them. That process could take as many as 10 days per bridge, if weather is good.

All the work, except for the railroad overpass, will be performed at night.

“It is the best and easiest way, and you have to capture all the materials,” Talbot said. “We are trying to reduce noise and vibration as best we can.”

Talbot said the DOT has also required contractors to hire “a professional acoustical noise-control company to install special sound barriers around this equipment. This will reduce noise levels.”

The sound barriers will be used on the Deering Avenue and Preble Street jobs.

The work on the Deering Avenue overpass will require equipment to be set up on I-295 and require some highway lane closures between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. While no lanes or shoulders on Deering Avenue will be closed, a new safety fence will be installed and one sidewalk could be closed as needed.

The Preble Street work will require some sidewalk and lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Talbot said two traffic lanes and one sidewalk will always remain open.

The work on Forest Avenue will require lane closures between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but no I-295 entrance or exit ramps will be closed, Talbot said. One sidewalk will always be open to pedestrians and no sound barriers will be used during paint removal.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Both Interstate 295 overpasses above Preble Street in Portland will be repainted, requiring some lane and sidewalk closures this month.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.