PORTLAND – Ramps connecting Baxter Boulevard and Washington Avenue to Interstate 295 are scheduled to reopen Saturday, ending three months of traffic delays and tricky driving on the highway through the city.

The ramps were closed while the Maine Department of Transportation repaired Tukey’s Bridge, where some lanes were blocked off to traffic throughout the summer. All lanes will reopen this weekend.

Drivers who get on the interstate northbound from Franklin Street also will notice that a traffic light at the top of the ramp, which has been controlling cars during the evening commute, will be covered.

The work being completed this week is part of a $24 million project on I-295 from South Portland to Brunswick that started in May and will be finished in October.

The work on Tukey’s Bridge, which carries an average of 85,000 cars daily across the inlet to Back Cove, included removing pavement and repairing the concrete deck.

The project was completed about three weeks ahead of schedule because of good weather, said Meg Lane, a spokeswoman for the MDOT.

The department had planned to reopen the ramps this morning, but rain was expected to prevent workers from paving and striping the highway Thursday night, Lane said.

“All this work is weather-dependent, so we’re just waiting to see,” she said.

Drivers haven’t been able to access the interstate from Baxter Boulevard throughout the summer. Barriers also were placed along the highway from the Washington Avenue on-ramp on Munjoy Hill to the off-ramp at Exit 8, effectively creating a local road by blocking access to the highway.

Lane said work on the southbound side of the highway between Forest Avenue and the tollbooth in Scarborough will continue until the middle of September.

At night, the MDOT also will continue repaving the interstate from Freeport to Brunswick until October.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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