PORTLAND — The Maine Department of Transportation is postponing the planned closure of I-295 over Veranda Street in Portland. Following extensive conversations with design consultants and construction contractors, MaineDOT engineers decided October 6 that the three-day closure of I-295 will need to be delayed, according to MDOT, in a news release. The closure of the interstate and Veranda Street (under the bridge) are required to replace the aging Veranda Street Bridge with the new bridge currently being built next to the interstate.
“The impact to the public will be the same: it will just happen on a different weekend,” said MDOT. “At this point, we do not have a new date for the closure weekend. We expect to be able to schedule and announce a new date soon. The project is still on track to be completed by the end of 2022.
"Challenges involving the lightweight geofoam fill being used on this project require more time to make sure the work meets our safety requirements," said MaineDOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor. "A national resin shortage is slowing our ability to obtain the additional material we'll need in order to get the site ready for the accelerated bridge construction process."
MaineDOT had originally planned to close the interstate between October 22 and 25. The department had planned to close Route 1/Veranda Street (under the bridge) between October 18 and 25.
Changing the closure weekend will not create additional traffic impacts. All lanes of both I-295 and Route 1/Veranda Street will remain open and passable.
The department chose accelerated bridge construction for this project to greatly reduce the long-term traffic impacts that would have occurred if conventional construction had been used.
Project information, detour routes, and updates are available by visiting www.verandaplan.org.
Original press release:
The Maine Department of Transportation will be closing I-295 over Veranda Street in Portland from 7 p.m. on Friday, October 22 to 11 a.m. on Monday, October 25.
Veranda Street (under the bridge) will be closed from 2 p.m. on Monday, October 18 to 2 p.m. on Monday, October 25. These closures are being done to accommodate the replacement of the Veranda Street Bridge.
The Veranda Street Bridge is 60 years old and needs to be replaced, according to MDOT, in a news release.
This project also involves a reconfiguration of the roadways beneath the bridge to improve mobility and safety. Crews will construct the new bridge on the east side of the existing bridge and then a Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) will be used to slide the new structure into place during the 60-hour interstate closure.
This is the first time an SPMT is being used in the State of Maine. This accelerated bridge construction process will greatly reduce the length of time needed for this project, according to MDOT. That will save money and reduce traffic impacts.
The contractor on this project, Cianbro, had until May 1st to select closure dates.
MaineDOT will be conducting significant public outreach efforts in the coming months about these closures and the detours that will be available to drivers.
“We are also working to have live video feeds of the accelerated bridge construction available during the closure weekend,” said MDOT. “We are discouraging people from visiting the site as it is an active construction site.”
The contract for construction of this project is $18.1 million. The total project cost (including engineering and design work) is approximately $20.8 million.
On-site work started in March.
“We aim to have the project finished by the end of 2022,” said MDOT.