KITTERY — Lane closures on the Piscataqua River (I-95) Bridge in Kittery are scheduled for January 12-14, 2022. The lane closures are necessary to facilitate the installation of overhead signage, according to Maine Department of Transportation, in a news release.
Northbound: Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to a single lane on Wednesday, January 12, and Thursday, January 13 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., at which point the middle lane will reopen. The rightmost northbound lane will reopen at 2 p.m.
Southbound: The leftmost lane will be closed on Wednesday, January 12, and Thursday, January 13 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to these closures, there will be nightly, intermittent closures, which may slow both north and southbound traffic. These closures will be necessary to maintain the safety of the crews as they work to install the overhead signage. These closures will begin in New Hampshire near mile marker 15. Northeast Traffic has worked to reduce the number of these closures to a minimum.
The Northbound, Exit 1 and Exit 2 off-ramps will see night closures during this time, but at no time will these exits be closed at the same time.
As with all outdoor construction work, this schedule is heavily dependent on the weather.
The goal of this project is to improve safety and mobility on Maine's most important bridge and preserve the structure for another 50 years of use. This work is also preparing the bridge for an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project, which will allow part-time shoulder use during peak travel times.
This project started in May 2019 and is expected to be finished by May 2022.
The "Maine Ahead: Building a Better Gateway" project is a collaboration involving the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Turnpike Authority, and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The goal of the project is to revitalize and rehabilitate the travel corridor that welcomes millions of commuters, travelers, and freight drivers to Maine every year. The initiative focuses on two major construction projects on the I-95 corridor: the Piscataqua River Bridge and the York Toll Plaza. The toll plaza work involves making safety improvements and creating the ability to allow highway-speed tolling. The bridge work will extend the life of the bridge, add needed safety improvements, and prepare the structure for breakdown-lane travel during peak travel periods.
In 2018, 37 million tourists visited Maine – a 33-percent increase from 2012 tourism numbers. During normal times, 78,000 vehicles cross the Piscataqua River Bridge every day, and in the summer, that daily traffic number can climb to 130,000 vehicles. More than 15 million transactions occur at the York Toll Plaza each year. In 2019, on Labor Day weekend alone, nearly 250,000 transactions occurred at the York Toll Plaza, with 187,000 being captured electronically.
For the latest information, visit www.buildingabettergateway.com, and follow @MaineAheadNews on Facebook and Twitter.