This rendering of the Maine Turnpike Authority service plazas at the north and southbound Kennebunk exits shows the scope of a parking expansion. Construction has begun and is expcted to be complete by November 2021. Maine Turnpike Authority Image

KENNEBUNK — Motorists driving past the north and southbound service plazas at the Kennebunk exit of the Maine Turnpike are seeing some earth moving and construction designed to make the parking lots bigger for both trucks and passenger cars.

As well, part of the overhaul includes new traffic signals and some upgrades to existing MTA-associated signals in Kennebunk, designed to help with traffic flow.

Maine Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Erin Courtney said at the southbound plaza there are currently 239 passenger vehicle spots. Once the project is complete, there will be 309, she said an increase of nearly 30 percent. Parking spaces for commercial trucks will be doubled, from 37 to 74.

At the northbound plaza, there are currently 304 passenger vehicle spots. Once complete, there will 394, again an increase of nearly 30 percent, she said. There will be 70 spaces for commercial trucks once the work is done; currently there are 35.

Construction is taking place on the site of a project at the north and southbound service plazas at the Kennebunk exits of the Maine Turnpike. As well as a parking expansion for both cars and commercial trucks, two new traffic signals will be installed, and an existing light will be modified. Courtesy photo/Maine Turnpike Authority

A geotechnical report online at the MTA website shows that the project involves reconfiguring the lots to improve capacity, particularly for commercial trucks. It noted the exit is a vital staging point for deliveries to and from southern Maine.

The parking expansion will separate the truck parking from passenger car parking, while providing additional capacity for both, according to the MTA. The work includes acceleration and deceleration lane extensions, relocated ramps, perimeter road improvements, clearing, lighting, storm water facilities, utility work, drainage, maintenance of traffic, signing and pavement markings, and the traffic signal improvements.

The construction project is scheduled to be completed by November 2021.

The traffic signal project is scheduled for completion in November.

Courtney said two new traffic signals will be added, and there will be modifications to an existing signal.

“We are signalizing the intersection at Alewive Road where the southbound on- and off-ramps are,” she said. As well, the MTA is adding a signal on Fletcher Street at the northbound on- and off-ramps. Currently there are stop signs on either side of this intersection.

There will be upgrades to the existing signal and a new lane controller will be installed at the intersection of Alewive Road, Fletcher Street and Alfred Road, said Courtney.

“The traffic signal work is going to improve traffic flow and safety, especially for the southbound movements as those experience backups currently,” she said.

The Kennebunk Select Board on Jan. 8 noted they had entered into an agreement with the MTA for the installation of the traffic lights. The town’s required contribution under the agreement is $115,000. Town Manager Michael Pardue told Select Board members that Kennebunk Savings Bank has donated $100,000 to the project, reducing the town’s contribution to $15,000.

Shaw Brothers Construction, Inc. of Gorham was the winning bidder for the project, at $9.27 million. There were four other bidders, with bids ranging from $10.19 million to $14.9 million.

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