March 5, 2012

Turnpike section facelift on horizon

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WEST GARDINER -- The Litchfield and West Gardiner section of the Maine Turnpike will get an expensive facelift soon.

And officials think they can complete the project without creating major traffic headaches.

Repaving of more than five miles of the toll road between mile markers 92.8 and 98 is expected to take place between April 9 and Aug. 25. Turnpike officials estimated the cost to be $3.2 million.

The West Gardiner Maineline Toll Plaza -- the one on the main section of the Interstate 95 between Lewiston and West Gardiner -- also is in line for work involving repaving, drainage, pavement marking and other work. That project is expected to cost an additional $1 million.

Studies done by the Maine Turnpike Authority indicate that the work can take place between 7 p.m. Sunday and noon Friday without having a negative impact on traffic, said Dan Morin, public relations manager and legislative liaison for the turnpike authority.

"If anything, it will be closed down to one lane," he said. "Ordinarily we do paving at night, weather permitting."

Repaving will involve both northbound and southbound lanes.

Morin said the project falls within a planned program of pavement rehabilitation that involves repaving a section of highway every 12 to 15 years.

Morin said no work is planned for the Gardiner toll plaza on Interstate 295, an area that is heavily traveled.

A pre-bid conference last week for eligible contractors attracted representatives from seven firms, Morin said. He said bids for road work have been coming in lower than the estimates.

"We're getting very good prices," he said.

The bids on the West Gardiner/Litchfield project are due by 10 a.m. Thursday.

More information about the project, including specifics, is available at the Maine Turnpike Authority's website at www.maineturnpike.com/contract_bids/contract_bids.php.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631


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