The Maine Turnpike Authority will close the southbound on-ramp near the center of Gray on Friday and southbound drivers will be detoured down Route 100 through the weekend.

The MTA is scheduled to open a new southbound access ramp and toll plaza on Monday after completing a redesign intended to ease congestion at peak commuting hours.

The ramp closure at Exit 63 begins at 10 a.m. Friday. The new ramp will be open in time for the morning commute on Monday, according to the MTA.

In addition, a new southbound off-ramp will open Friday at Exit 63. This new off-ramp bears right and intersects with Route 202 to the west of the turnpike next to the new southbound on-ramp.

The ramp system being replaced requires northbound and southbound traffic to share a ramp, contributing to congestion at the interchange during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The new traffic design will include separate on- and off-ramps.

In addition to the new southbound ramps and toll, the contractor is also performing work along the turnpike, the northbound ramps in Gray and Routes 202 and 26A. The toll plaza work includes a new toll administration building located by the southbound ramps and reconstruction of the existing toll plaza for the northbound ramps.

The total Exit 63 Interchange Project cost was estimated at approximately $10.7 million and the primary contractor for the project is Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham.

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