I-295 paving, bridge work concludes next month; Veranda Street ramp reopens in Portland

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PORTLAND — Some pavement and bridge repairs to Interstate 295 that began in May are scheduled to be complete by Dec. 18, according to a press release Friday from  the Maine Department of Transportation.

Also Friday, the long-closed Veranda Street on-ramp to southbound I-295 was reopened after repairs on that side of the highway were finished – three months later than originally planned.

But some other work was postponed to next year.

Bradford Foley, DOT highway program manager, said there were higher traffic counts due to sunny summer weather as well as unanticipated problems in some places.

Foley said northbound lanes on I-295 from the Portland-Falmouth line to Freeport and southbound lanes from the Maine Turnpike spur in Falmouth to the toll booths in Scarborough have received new guard rails, fresh surface paving and bridge repairs. More than 43 lane-miles have been resurfaced, 10 bridges have been repaired and repaved, and 10 miles of new guard rail has been installed in medians and near bridges.

Foley said the new cable guard rails have prevented vehicles from crossing the median in two recent traffic incidents. He said the road surfaces are expected to last between 12 and 15 years, while bridge repairs should last between 15 and 20 years. 

Bridge repair involved removing existing pavement, repairing the concrete decks beneath, repairing or replacing bridge joints, sealing with a rubber membrane and resurfacing with new pavement. 

Due to more extensive repairs to some bridges, only eight of 18 bridges were completed this year southbound, while five of eight northbound bridges were completed. Repairs to Tukey’s Bridge and the Presumpscot River Bridge were postponed to next year due to traffic congestion concerns.

Total costs for bridge repairs came to $3.6 million, while more than $5 million was spent on paving, according to the DOT. Repairs will resume on I-295 northbound in Portland and the remaining bridges next spring.

Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or sgrinnell@theforecaster.net.

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