AUGUSTA — A new traffic pattern will be in place Monday for motorists who use exit 113 when traveling south on Interstate 95.
The temporary route will be in place for three months as construction continues on the exit and surrounding roads.
The $13 million construction project is aimed at allowing exit 113 to function in all directions as well as linking Route 3 with Civic Center Drive, thus easing some traffic congestion at exit 112, a busy interchange less than a mile to the south.
A ramp that provides direct eastbound access to Route 3 will be closed, and motorists will be detoured to a stop sign on Old Belgrade Road near the site of MaineGeneral Medical Center’s new hospital construction.
There they can follow a detour that directs them to Route 3 via West River Road.
Other motorists can travel west along Old Belgrade Road to link to Civic Center Drive, also known as Route 27. Motorists traveling west on Route 3 still have direct access to I-95.
The Maine Department of Transportation has placed many signs along the route in advance of the ramp closure.
“We are working hard to minimize impacts on drivers, and detouring eastbound traffic allows us to close the eastbound interchange bridge and move forward faster on this project,” state project manager Shawn Smith said in a news release. The construction project is scheduled to be completed before the scheduled Nov. 9 opening of the Harold Alfond Center for Health.
The department closed a northbound on-ramp at exit 113 on April 22, and a tentative reopening date is set for May 31. The ramp’s pavement has been removed so far.
After a two-vehicle accident April 22 on I-95, when a driver apparently tried to use a crossover to make a U-turn because exit 113 was closed, more signs were erected, said Ted Talbot, spokesman for the state transportation department.
The department also closed the crossover to prevent future problems.
While all dates and work are weather-dependent, the weather has proved cooperative so far.
“It has really, really been something,” Talbot said.
More information on the project is available at www.MaineDOT.gov.
Betty Adams — 621-5631