Maine Turnpike Authority considers closing portion of Falmouth spur for a year

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PORTLAND — Drivers who use the Maine Turnpike Exit 52 northbound on-ramp from the Falmouth Spur may have to find an alternate route next year.

The Maine Turnpike Authority is considering closing the on-ramp for about a year beginning next spring to speed reconstruction of the 55-year-old Presumpscot River bridge, which carries turnpike traffic just north of Exit 52.

MTA said engineers believe the closure will allow work to be completed sooner, more safely and less expensively. It would reduce the project length from 27 months to 18 months, eliminate a traffic merge just before the bridge and cut the total price tag to an estimated $7.2 million.

About 1,600 vehicles use the northbound on-ramp each day, according to an MTA press release, less than half the volume of the southbound on-ramp, at 3,600 vehicles per day. The Exit 52 southbound on-ramp and north-bound off-ramp would remain open during the project.

The public will have a chance to discuss the proposal at a public meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 16, at MTA headquarters, 2360 Congress St.