Aug. 3—Exit 47's northbound on-ramp connecting Rand Road to the Maine Turnpike, which closed Monday for construction, will remain closed until Friday night or early Saturday morning, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. The work, which is part of the turnpike widening project, is moving along without issues.
"We're hoping to be open sometime Friday, everything's been going smoothly," said Project Manager Bryan Barnes.
Construction at the exit involves rebuilding the ramp itself as well as extending drainage infrastructure. Both pieces of the construction are meant to facilitate construction of a third travel lane on the turnpike, which is a part of the larger Portland Area Widening and Safety Improvement Project.
The project, which will add a third travel lane from mile 44 to just beyond mile 48, has been going smoothly, according to authority spokesperson Erin Courtney. The work on the stretch of the road from mile-marker 44 to 46 is nearly complete, but it won't be open to drivers just yet, said Courtney.
The entire widening process is expected to be completed in October 2023. The current phase, which covers Exit 47, is running within budget, costing around $24.4 million, nearly $1 million less than the authority's engineering estimate.
Until construction on the northbound on-ramp is completed, turnpike drivers are being diverted to Exit 48 in Portland, located on Riverside Street. Courtney says construction of the on-ramp hasn't led to any traffic backups in the area.
"We're lucky that there's plenty of alternate exits right nearby, all within a mile of each other, so it's really not an issue," she said.
Following construction on the northbound on-ramp, closure of the southbound on- and off-ramps will begin on Aug. 15 and 22, respectively. Each phase of the project will last for five days, barring construction or weather-related issues.