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Busy Memorial Day Weekend Expected on Turnpike

Maine Turnpike Authority Logo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2021
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Busy Memorial Day Weekend Expected on Turnpike

Traffic volume predicted to be nearing 2019 pre-pandemic numbers

PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Turnpike Authority is expecting traffic over the upcoming Holiday weekend to be up significantly from last year, but more importantly, not far off from 2019’s record breaking numbers.  MTA expects traffic to be up 76 percent over last year's Memorial Day weekend when only 564,000 transactions occurred over the four-day period of Friday through Monday.  Approximately 984,000 transactions are predicted to occur this year, which is only three percent lower than the same period in 2019.   

The heaviest traffic northbound is expected to occur on Friday between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM.  The heaviest southbound traffic is expected on Monday, especially near the New Hampshire border at the Piscataqua River Bridge, where tens of thousands of vehicles will depart the state in the afternoon hours.
The MTA would like to remind travelers to travel through work zones at the posted speed limit, even when there are no workers present. Fines in work zones are double the normal cost. Many of the work zones contain narrowed lanes and must be traveled at slower speeds for safety. Construction activities will pause over the long weekend, however there are sites where lane shifts will remain in place.

The Maine Turnpike State Farm Safety Patrol will also be in operation over the four-day period. The Safety Patrol is a free service that provides assistance to stranded motorists on the Maine Turnpike. It also clears the Turnpike of debris and other hazards and provides temporary traffic control at minor accident scenes to help keep Maine Turnpike customers safe and traffic flowing smoothly. In addition to routine weekday patrol during peak AM and PM commute hours in the Portland area, there will also be patrol service from Kittery to Wells, Friday through Monday, from 11 AM to 7 PM.

MTA would also like to remind travelers visiting the State that untreated out of state firewood is banned. Help us Protect Maine's Forests by leaving your firewood at home--use local Maine firewood instead.
This Memorial Day, the MTA salutes the women and men who gave their lives in defense of our country, and the families they left behind. The Maine Turnpike was designated the Gold Star Memorial Highway in 1965 to commemorate the valor and sacrifice of those who died in service to our country.  The Gold Star was worn by American mothers instead of conventional mourning clothes during World War I.  The display of gold star banners in homes began in World War II and it is a tradition that has been carried through every war thereafter.