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Scheduled to open Monday night, November 21, 2016 after 10:00 PM
PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Turnpike Authority today announced that it plans to open its modern, highway-speed E-ZPass lanes at West Gardiner Toll Plaza this coming Monday, November 21, 2016, after 10:00 PM.
The electronic toll collection system used in these lanes is called Open Road Tolling or ORT. When the West Gardner ORT lanes are officially opened to traffic, it will join the Turnpike’s New Gloucester Toll Plaza in allowing motorists with E-ZPass transponders to pay tolls automatically while driving through at 70 miles-per-hour.
“The new Open Road Tolling installation at West Gardiner is the newest in a series of exciting Maine Turnpike improvements coming to completion this autumn,” said Peter Mills, Maine Turnpike Executive Director. “ORT plazas not only improve the efficiency and safety for motorists who no longer need to slow down to pass through a traditional toll booth, but also it reduces fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles whose engines are idling while in line to pay at the toll booth.”
In addition, ORT plazas makes traveling and transporting goods more convenient and cost-effective for the approximately 80% of the Turnpike’s commercial customers who rely on E-ZPass to manage their toll expenses.
The $6 million toll plaza improvement construction contract was awarded to Wyman & Simpson of Richmond, ME. Due to traffic volumes, the plaza will have one ORT highway speed lane in each direction and three mixed-toll lanes accepting cash and E-ZPass payments on both the northbound and southbound sides of the Turnpike.
“Even for motorists who are unfamiliar with the Open Road Tolling, using the system could not be easier,” Mills continued. “Drivers whose vehicles are equipped with the E-ZPass device simply drive on through at the Turnpike’s regular speed limit.”
If cash toll customers mistakenly enter the “E-ZPass Only” lane, drivers should continue traveling at highway speed through the toll plaza area. For the safety of all travelers, the Maine Turnpike Authority stresses the following instructions:
· Do not stop
· Do not back up
· Do not pull over in or after the toll plaza
· Do not attempt to get out of the vehicle and cross the barrier to seek assistance from a toll collector.
Cash customers who mistakenly use the “E-ZPass Only” lane are still responsible for paying the toll and can get information about how to do so at MaineTurnpike.com or by calling 1-888-MTA-PASS (682-7277), by visiting the Maine Turnpike headquarters off of Exit 46 (Jetport), or by mailing the toll payment. Details on mailing toll payments can be found at MaineTurnpike.com.
To take advantage of the safety, convenience and cost savings of modern, highway speed tolling, drivers can sign up for E-ZPass by calling 1-888-MTA-PASS, or by visiting ezpassmaineturnpike.com.
The Maine Turnpike Authority is a quasi-state agency created by the Maine Legislature in1941. When the Maine Turnpike’s opened in 1947, it became the nation’s second superhighway and the very first to be funded exclusively through the sale of revenue bonds. While setting standards for maintenance and improvement, the Maine Turnpike continues to be a self-financed operation and does not receive funding from the state or federal government. Because of its prominence and reputation, it has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Maine Turnpike Authority thanks all motorists for their patience during Turnpike improvements, and as always, thank you for driving safely.