The Maine Turnpike Authority announced Wednesday that it will close Exit 45, the exit used to access the Maine Mall shopping center, from Friday, Sept. 30, through Monday, Oct. 3.

The four-day closure will allow contractors to put the finishing touches on a new diamond-shaped interchange that will replace the highway’s 67-year-old exit. Erin Courtney, spokesman for the MTA, said the new configuration represents a major milestone in efforts to modernize the highway.

All Exit 45 on-ramps and off-ramps will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. Turnpike travelers are being urged to use nearby interchanges during the closure.

Engineers determined that the Exit 45 interchange, which was designed in 1955, could no longer handle a 1,700 percent increase in traffic, Courtney said in a release.

The new safer, more efficient interchange is part of the turnpike authority’s master plan of widening the highway and bridges from four lanes to six from mile 44 to mile 49.

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