The Maine Turnpike Authority is urging travelers to seek alternative routes through West Gardiner during certain hours next week.

A series of up to 25-minute overnight traffic stops will occur at the West Gardiner Toll Plaza on the Maine Turnpike between Monday and Thursday, according to a news release from the agency.

Traffic will be blocked at those times so work crews can put up signs for the open-road tolling lanes that are being built at the toll plaza, which will allow drivers with E-ZPass on their vehicles to get through the plaza faster.

The intermittent stops will begin each night at 10 p.m. and continue until 5 a.m., according to the news release. The work will occur in one direction at a time, with all northbound lanes being blocked, then all southbound lanes being blocked.

Turnpike officials are urging drivers to find alternate routes during those hours. If they don’t, they can expect delays of up to 25 minutes while the work continues.

Message boards will notify approaching travelers of the closures, and radio broadcasts on 1610 AM also will be used to inform drivers, according to the news release

All the work is weather-dependent.

The $6 million project, awarded to Wyman & Simpson, of Richmond, began in April 2015. Its completion is scheduled for fall 2016.

Once the work is completed, E-ZPass users traveling in both directions will be able continue at highway speed, rather than slowing down for the toll. The technology already has been implemented at a Maine Turnpike toll plaza in New Gloucester.


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