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MTA annual Labor Day tradition continues into its seventeenth year

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2019
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

MTA annual Labor Day tradition continues into its seventeenth year

Officials anticipate record number of travelers over the holiday weekend

PORTLAND, Maine – This coming Labor Day, drivers traveling southbound through the Maine Turnpike’s York Toll Plaza should not be surprised if approached by a tall, two-legged moose in a fluorescent-yellow safety vest. That’s Miles, Maine Turnpike’s mascot who will be joined by Clawdette the lobster, and Turnpike employees as they thank motorists for visiting with some Maine-made goodies. Maine Turnpike Authority employees celebrate the unofficial end of summer by thanking outbound visitors personally, going from car to car once traffic begins to backup, to hand out small gifts of Maine-made products. This year’s giveaways will be bags of handmade Fox Family Potato Chips and bottles of Poland Spring® 100% Natural Spring Water for every vehicle.
“We started handing out Maine-centric gifts to our southbound customers on Labor Day in 2002,” said Erin Courtney, spokeswoman for the Maine Turnpike. “It’s a great way to say ‘thank-you’ to thousands of our customers and highlight some of Maine’s fantastic products.” 
Stickers on the potato chip bag will also invite visitors to post their favorite Maine vacation photos online with the hashtag #MaineTurnpike for a chance to win a free Maine lobster dinner for four, shipped directly to their door. Turnpike staff members will be monitoring Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to choose a winner at random.
The MTA anticipates traffic to be up compared to last year’s Labor Day weekend, despite 2018 being a banner year for MTA traffic.  Year-to-date through July 2019, traffic is up 2.66 percent compared to the same period in 2018.  Through July 2019, the MTA has recorded over 51 million transactions compared to 49.7 million recorded through July of 2018.
More than 1 million vehicles are anticipated to travel the Maine Turnpike from Friday through Monday of this Labor Day weekend.  Peak traffic volumes and times are as follows:

  • Friday - Volume heaviest northbound between the hours of 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM (Friday anticipated to be the busiest of all four days system wide)
  • Saturday – Busiest hours are between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM in both directions.
  • Monday – Volume heaviest southbound between the hours of 12:00 noon and 7:00 PM
Total traffic numbers from the Holiday weekend will be available on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by 12:00 PM.
For more information and to sign up for alerts about the ongoing Piscataqua River Bridge project and the York Toll Plaza Relocation, go to the Maine Ahead website:  www.buildingabettergateway.com.