PORTLAND — Significant traffic delays were being reported Saturday on I-295 northbound, the results of construction work that is restricting the highway to one lane for a three-mile section approaching the Royal River Bridge in Yarmouth.

State Police Sgt. Cathy Roope said traffic had backed up for at least six miles between Exits 7 and 16 on Saturday due to lane closures. Some impatient drivers were making risky U-turns in the median rather than wait in traffic, she said.

Police and state highway officials are asking motorists to seek alternative routes for the rest of this weekend, as well as next weekend.

The lane closure, which was announced several days ago, is necessary due to bridge work and paving.

It went into effect Friday evening and will continue until noon Monday. The weekend lane closure will be repeated next Friday through Monday, Aug. 2, if weather conditions allow.

Variable message signs on I-295 northbound continue to advise motorists of the lane closure.

Information on I-295 construction projects including updates, maps, and a sign-up form for email alerts is available online at mainedot.gov.