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Nightly closures of Exit 45 Southbound next week

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2019
Erin Courtney
513-2982
ecourtney@maineturnpike.com
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)
838-8613
dmorin@maineturnpike.com


Nightly closures of Exit 45 Southbound next week

Closures necessary to reset barrier on the Exit 45 bridge
 

PORTLAND, Maine – Starting on Monday, October 21, 2019, the Maine Turnpike Exit 45 southbound on and off ramps will be closed from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM for four nights in order to remove and reset lightweight barrier on the bridge. This work is necessary as a result of the bridge hit that occurred on July 15, 2019.

The bridge is currently configured to move traffic away from the damaged girder utilizing orange barrels and shifting of the pavement markings.  It is currently restricted to 12-foot-wide vehicles with a one-foot shoulder on either side.   Since the time of the crash, engineers have evaluated the repair options.  Three options were identified: leave it as is with moveable barrels, repair the damaged girder, bridge deck and bridge curb and return traffic to original position, or move the existing steel barrier and maintain the restricted width.  

Given that the bridge is scheduled for replacement beginning in 2021, a full repair was costly and did not make sense. Leaving the moveable barrels as is was also not preferred because the barrels can move and it creates issues for snow removal during the winter.  The MTA will instead manage traffic on the bridge by removing and resetting the existing steel barrier. 

The work that will need to be done in order to reset the steel barrier includes cutting the existing anchor bolts on the outside shoulder of the bridge and moving the steel barrier in.  This option is less expensive as it mainly involves closures and labor. Instead of taking six months to repair, it will instead be about one week worth of work. 

“This option makes the most sense given the bridge is scheduled to be replaced soon,” said Erin Courtney, spokesperson for the Maine Turnpike Authority. “We are glad there is an option that is cost effective, allows the work to be done quickly and keeps the bridge safe for motorists to use,” said Courtney.
 

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