An aerial view of the I-295 bridge over Veranda Street in Portland. Contributed / MaineDOT

I-295 travelers, mark your calendars.

Northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate over Route 1/Veranda Street, near Exit 9, in Portland will be closed for 64 hours starting April 22. Route 1/Veranda Street will be closed for a week beginning April 18.

The I-295 bridge is being replaced because it’s old and worn. Route 1/Veranda Street is being reconfigured to include, among other safety measures, the addition of traffic signals, sidewalks and bike lanes, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Transportation.

The replacement bridge will be built on the east side of the existing bridge and then moved into place during the weekend-long closure by a transporter similar to those NASA uses to move space shuttle components into place, according to MDOT.

“Improved safety and mobility are the direct benefit of replacing this aging, 60-year-old bridge, and a full closure of I-295 over Veranda Street in Portland for a weekend will greatly reduce the long-term traffic impacts that would have occurred if conventional construction had been used,” MDOT Marketing Specialist Damian Veilleux told The Forecaster.

I-295 around Exit 9 will be closed from 7 p.m. April 22 until 11 a.m. April 25.


Route 1/Veranda Street, under the I-295 bridge, will be closed for a week between Woodsworth and Oregon streets in Portland from 2 p.m. April 18 until 2 p.m. April 25. Veranda Street residents and businesses will have “reasonable access to their properties” but should anticipate some long waits, MDOT said in the press release.

MDOT aims to finish the project by the end of the year. The total cost is about $20.8 million.

The project initially was scheduled for late October, but MDOT said more time was needed for the lightweight foam fill being used for the project to meet safety requirements. A national resin shortage also made it difficult to obtain materials needed to prepare the site.

Crews will return to the job site early next month.

“We are very excited for work to resume on this project that will see much-needed transportation improvements for a critical area of Maine’s infrastructure,” Veilleux said.

The project is expected to spur an increase in traffic on the turnpike and on local roads in Portland and Falmouth, so motorists are being asked to avoid the area during the closure dates. Detours, live video feeds of the construction site and frequently asked questions can be found at A live virtual meeting, which has not been scheduled yet, will also be held in the near future with a question-and-answer period. Registration for that meeting is open on the website.

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