January 11, 2013

Bridge repairs to slow turnpike travel at exit 102 in West Gardiner

Night work over next week could cause delays of up to 25 minutes, turnpike authority says; alternate routes urged

STAFF REPORT

WEST GARDINER -- Motorists traveling south on the Maine Turnpike at night should prepare to wait for up to 25 minutes at exit 102 while bridge repairs take place next week.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Vehicles go through the Mile 101 toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike (Interstate 95) on Thursday in West Gardiner. Under a toll increase proposal tentatively adopted by Maine Turnpike Authority's board Thursday the toll there would go up 50 cents from $1.25 to $1.75.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

The Maine Turnpike Authority announced Friday that the stoppages will be from 10 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday and for the same hours the next four days.

"The traffic stops are necessary to perform heat straightening of girders on the exit 102 bridge that were damaged by a high-load vehicle," said a travel advisory issued by Erin Sullivan on behalf of the turnpike authority.

The advisory suggested motorists seek alternate routes. Sullivan said the traffic stops will be intermittent, not necessarily every 25 minutes.

The $219,000 repair project by Wyman & Simpson of Richmond started in November and is expected to finish in April.

The bridge that crosses the Maine Turnpike was hit by a Maine National Guard truck in March, but deemed safe to use as repairs continued.

It was closed for several hours after it was hit by the southbound truck.

The shipping container being carried on the flat-bed truck struck the overpass at mile-marker 102, which is the bridge that carries drivers from the West Gardiner service plaza onto the southbound lanes.

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