SOUTH PORTLAND — The southbound on and off ramps at Exit 45 of the Maine Turnpike will be closed this weekend, between 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 and 6 a.m. Monday, March 2.

Southbound motorists will have to get on and off the Turnpike at Exit 46 or Exit 42.

According to the Maine Turnpike Authority, the closures are necessary for the installation of wick drains, which are used to remove water from the clay soils. That work is needed as part of a more comprehensive reconstruction of the interchange.

“The Exit 45 interchange in South Portland is being reconstructed with additional capacity for future traffic volumes, two new ramp toll plazas and a new, higher and wider bridge,” the Maine Turnpike Authority wrote in a release.

The $14.8 million project was awarded to Sargent Corporation of Old Town and began in fall 2019. It is expected to be completed by spring 2021.

The work is weather dependent, with the weekend of March 6 reserved as a backup, if needed.

For project updates, visit maineturnpike.com.