WATERVILLE — The newly built interchange at Exit 124 on Interstate 95 opened Friday, concluding the $5.3 million project that connects on- and off-ramps with Trafton Road.

The interchange opened for traffic around noon and allows direct access to I-95. A news release from the Maine Department of Transportation states this should help foster business growth opportunities in the area.

The department — along with its funding partners, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Administration, the city of Waterville and Trafton Properties — were able to use the DOT’s Business Partnership Initiative while developing the new interchange.

The interchange is a half-cloverleaf at Trafton Road near the Sidney town line. Drivers can get on or off in either the northbound or southbound direction. It’s about halfway between the Lyons Road exit in Sidney, at mile 120, and the Kennedy Memorial Drive exit in Waterville, at mile 127.

In the release, Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt said this was an exciting opportunity for businesses in the area to use the new interchange.

“The city of Waterville and surrounding communities now have a new point of access that allows an easy connection to the interstate, saving time and direct fuel costs, which will positively affect their bottom line,” Bernhardt said.

The Sargent Corp. began construction of the half-cloverleaf on Trafton Road in September 2016. Work included clearing vegetation, excavation, ledge removal, installation of drainage pipes and gravel placement on both the north and southbound ramps.

The Business Partnership Initiative is a one-third state, two-thirds business/municipal demand-response program designed to respond to requests related to changing local transportation needs on state and state-aid highways, developing economic opportunities, and relieving safety concerns on or near those highways.

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