Former state Sen. Peter Mills will serve as the interim executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Board member Jim Cloutier of Portland confirmed Mills’ appointment this morning. The board has been meeting in executive session for more than two hours, but is expected to announce the move shortly. Mills, a Republican, was seen today in the hallway at the authority’s headquarters.

Paul Violette, the former executive director, resigned last week amid questions on the authority’s spending practices.

Also today, the authority plans announced plans to close the northbound on-ramp at Exit 48 on March 28 so it can replace the bridge that crosses the highway.

The on-ramp will remain closed until November.

The authority’s board of directors this morning voted to adjust the commuter zone to allow commuter pass holders to use the alternative access via Rand Road (Exit 47), located about a mile to the south.

The Exit 48 on-ramp to southbound lanes and off-ramp to northbound and southbound traffic will remain open except for two to four weeks in the fall.

The $8 million project calls for the construction of a new bridge immediately adjacent to the existing structure, which was built in 1955. Turnpike engineers say the bridge is nearing the end of its useful life.