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Increase in Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Expected on Turnpike

Maine Turnpike Authority Logo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2019
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Increase in Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Expected on Turnpike

MTA  Reminds Drivers to Drive Safely Through Work Zones

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's unofficial start to summer begins this Holiday weekend and with it brings increased traffic along the Maine Turnpike. The MTA expects traffic to be up 1.5 percent over last year's Memorial Day weekend.  Approximately 992,670 vehicles are predicted to travel the turnpike over the four-day period of Friday through Monday.  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, like at the Stroudwater River bridges and Pan Am Railway bridges at Mile 46.7 and Mile 47.9, respectively. On the northern end of the turnpike, the Exit 103 bridge in West Gardiner will remain down to one lane, which may cause delays and slow traffic southbound on the mainline in the area of miles 103 to 105. 

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.

For more information and to sign up for alerts about the upcoming Piscataqua River Bridge project and the ongoing York Toll Plaza Relocation, go to the Maine Ahead website:  www.buildingabettergateway.com.

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.