A tractor-trailer heading toward Oakland hauling a cargo of beer hit a soft shoulder Friday on Trafton Road in Waterville and toppled over onto an adjacent field, drawing attention to the need to rebuild the road to state highway standards since the Interstate 95 interchange at exit 124 was completed last summer.

Sgt. Joshua Woods, of the Waterville Police Department, said it looked as though one of the truck’s tires hit the edge of the road. Woods noted that the road does not have a breakdown lane.

The Trafton Road interchange opened in July 2017. Since then, traffic on the road has increased, as the half-cloverleaf accommodates traffic going north or south and provides an alternative to the more congested Kennedy Memorial Drive.

The interchange was built with business development in mind and is the state’s first project under its Business Partnership Initiative, which gives road projects a higher priority if developers help pay for them. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Administration, the city of Waterville and Trafton Properties, which kicked in $1.81 million plus engineering and other costs of the $5 million project, the interchange benefits Trafton Properties’ aspirations, specifically its buildings and acreage at the Trafton Road intersection with West River Road.

The state Department of Transportation plans to rebuild the road. The road’s current 10-foot-wide lanes will be widened to 11 feet with 4-foot paved shoulders, making the road 30 feet wide; and problems with the road’s width, its curves, its lack of shoulders and its sight distance are expected to be corrected.

Woods said a Waterville Fire Department rescue crew was sent to the scene of the accident to check on a Summit Natural Gas pipeline, which is not yet operational.

Workers spent the better part of the day transferring the first truck’s payload of beer to another truck.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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