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Lewiston Exit 80 SPUI to Open for Morning Commute on October 14, 2016

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2016
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Lewiston Exit 80 SPUI to Open for Morning Commute on October 14, 2016

Single Point Urban Interchange Design A First For Maine Highways

PORTLAND, Maine –  The Maine Turnpike Authority and the City of Lewiston introduced the redesigned Exit 80 interchange yesterday in advance of its opening on Friday, October 14, 2016 (weather permitting) in an effort to inform motorists how to navigate the interchange. The new Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) will dramatically improve travel to and from the Turnpike via Alfred Plourde Parkway. 

The new SPUI (pronounced “spooey”) realigns the four on-and-off-ramps and two intersections into one, single intersection where traffic is controlled by a single set of traffic signals. Its unique feature is an inverted left turn lane, which allows left turns to be made simultaneously under the Turnpike bridge in a considerably smaller space than other interchange designs. 

Working in close coordination with MaineDOT and Lewiston city officials, the Maine Turnpike Authority chose the SPUI because its compact design reduces impacts on adjacent property owners and on natural resources while, at the same time, improving the current traffic flow and accommodating future growth and development in the region. 

“The new Single Point Urban Interchange is a giant step in the series of Maine Turnpike improvements we are unveiling over the coming weeks,” said Peter Mills, Maine Turnpike Executive Director. “The SPUI is a very simple concept and it’s actually very easy for motorist to navigate.” 

Mills noted that there are several key features that motorists should watch for: 
                        • One set of traffic signals controls all traffic movements
                        • All right turns are basic mergers controlled by yield signs.
                        • All left turn ramps lead drivers under the I-95 overpass to the single traffic signal.
                        • Driver should pay close attention to all signs, stay in the correct lane, and watch for the traffic signal instructions. 

To help educate motorists on the Exit 80 SPUI, a 3D animation of the interchange has been created to show drivers how to navigate its various movements.  The animation is available on the Maine Turnpike and City of Lewiston websites as well as on Lewiston/Auburn’s local access television. 

The total Exit 80 Interchange Project cost approximately $18 million, and the primary contractors for the project were RJ Grondin in phase I and CPM Constructors during phase II.
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.

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