Veranda Street bridge replacement

This photo of the Veranda Street bridge shows the white geofoam blocks that will be used to support the foundation of the new structure. To the left of I-295 is the deck of the new bridge, which will be rolled into place once the old bridge is demolished and removed. Courtesy of Maine Department of Transportation

A normally busy stretch of Interstate 295 between Portland and Falmouth will be vacant starting Friday evening when the state shuts it down for the weekend to complete an ambitious bridge replacement in Portland.

All four travel lanes on I-295 will be closed starting at 7 p.m. Friday. The closure will affect the roughly five-mile stretch of highway from Exit 9 in Portland to Exit 10 in Falmouth.

The road is scheduled to reopen to traffic by 11 a.m. Monday. During the closure, the Maine Department of Transportation wants as many drivers as possible to avoid the construction zone.

About 53,000 motor vehicles use the stretch of I-295 between Portland and Falmouth every day. Even though traffic is typically less on the weekend, it will nonetheless create major disruptions.

Construction giant Cianbro has 64 hours to tear down and rebuild the I-295 bridge over Veranda Street. The 60-year-old bridge is past its useful life and has been classified as structurally deficient. The replacement cost is $20.8 million.

Working on a razor-thin timeline, workers will destroy the existing bridge, remove the rubble, then use huge self-propelled transporters to lift a prefabricated bridge deck into the old span’s place.


Veranda Street near the bridge has been closed to traffic since Monday with limited disruption, said MaineDOT spokesman Paul Merrill.

“There were some minor traffic hiccups on the north end of Route 1 after we closed Veranda Street,” Merrill said. “We adapted, updating signage to cut down on the number of people going past the barricades and having to turn back around.”

During bridge construction, all through-traffic should detour onto the Maine Turnpike and get back onto I-295 using the Falmouth Spur.

Traffic heading north on I-295 and Route 1 will be detoured onto the Exit 9 off-ramp heading toward Falmouth. Vehicles can connect back to the highway and communities north via Route 1.

Southbound vehicle traffic will be detoured to Bucknam Road in Falmouth, then south on Middle Road to Ocean and Washington avenues for a connection to I-295 south.

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