Expect Delays on I-295 For the Next Five Weeks
You may want to plan ahead or find an alternate route. If you take I-295 to work or at any time during the workday, you can expect some delays in the next few weeks near one of the busiest exits in Portland.
According to Press Herald, Portland officials claim that some lanes will have to be closed for paving work. This is all related to the massive sewer project in Back Cove, the project involves the construction of four underground concrete storage tanks near Back Cove.
Press Herald writes that the upcoming traffic restrictions are part of Portland's effort to separate old sewer and stormwater collection systems. A mandated agreement with the city and the federal Environmental Protection Agency allows for this work to happen and is part of a citywide effort to reduce sewage-contaminated water washing into Casco Bay, streams, and rivers.
Once the work around Back cove is finished, the stormwater separation project will be nearly completed according to Press Herald. So far, the city has spent more than $100 million on this project.
According to the Maine Department of Transportation, around 25,000 use I-295 daily. On Tuesday, April 17th, city officials stated that weekday traffic through the I-295 interchange in Portland will be restricted for the next five weeks. These daytime restrictions will begin on Thursday, April 19th, and are sure to slow you down. Press Herald writes that during the daytime work, both entrance and exit ramps connecting the interstate to Franklin Street will be reduced to one lane.
According to Press Herald, Portland officials will post message boards with information about the lane closures around the work area and that drivers may be rerouted. It is recommended that you take Congress Street and Cumberland Avenue to avoid the intersection and connect with I-295 at Forest Avenue.
In addition, starting on June 20th there will be overnight closures at the Franklin Street interchange at Exit 7 beginning at 7 pm. Press Herald writes that during this closure, the intersection of Marginal Way and Franklin Street will be closed in all directions except for drivers turning right from Marginal Way onto Franklin Street.