The Maine Mall Exit in Portland, Maine, Will Be Closing for a Traffic Pattern Change
Maine Turnpike Authority took to their Facebook page to announce an upcoming traffic pattern change.
They shared this diagram below with the caption:
"Exit 45 will be closed over NEXT WEEKEND starting September 30 and through Monday to allow contractors to complete the transition to the new interchange configuration. Stay tuned for updates and be prepared to use a nearby exit for your travel."
The Maine Turnpike website goes on to say that Exit 45 (aka the Maine Mall exit) in South Portland is being reconstructed as a Diamond Interchange to accommodate growing traffic numbers, with two new ramp toll plazas and wider bridge. The existing bridge over the turnpike has been hit on numerous occasions by over-height vehicles (reminds me of Storrow Drive in Boston). This will be replaced and raised to provide a 16.5-foot clearance over the Maine Turnpike. The existing barrier toll booths will be removed, and two new ramp toll plazas on either side of the turnpike will be constructed.
How long will this project take?
The site states that this is anticipated to last until 2023, with the new roadways and toll plazas being operable in late 2022.
The Facebook community has been quite vocal about their concerns (as they tend to be). The concerns are as follows:
- Could this cause Southbound backup in the AM?
- Will this light be a nightmare during Christmas shopping season or a Friday in the summer?
- With the new position of tollbooths, will drivers have enough space to come up to speed to merge onto the highway?
What do you think about this upcoming change?