RICHMOND – Due to the failure of a culvert under the northbound lanes of I-295 in Richmond, MaineDOT is temporarily closing a section of the northbound lanes of I-295 beginning at noon on Sunday June 7th and reopening by the morning commute on Wednesday, June 10th.
Northbound motorists will exit I-295 at the Richmond Exit 43 and will be detoured along Routes 197, 138 and 201 and then back on I-295 in Gardiner at Exit 49. This detour should add no more than 15 minutes of travel time according to Joyce Taylor, MaineDOT’s Chief Engineer. “We are temporarily closing the interstate out of an abundance of caution. We have learned from experience that we can repair this culvert more quickly and more safely if there is no traffic in the area. It is safer for motorists, safer for work crews and it expedites the timeline for completing the work.” Passenger cars coming from the Portland toward Augusta area are encouraged to use the Maine Turnpike.
The seven-foot diameter culvert is 122-feet long and was installed in 1975.
The speed limits on I-295 in Richmond will drop 15 to 25 miles per hour as traffic is channeled down to one lane as motorists approach Exit 43 for the detour. Speed limits on the detour route are being reduced 10 mph and fines will be doubled. It is anticipated that there will be an increased police presence to ensure motorists obey the temporary speed limits along the rural, residential detour.
Traffic patterns will change slightly on Routes 197, 138 and 201 as new stop signs and traffic signals are installed to minimize potential conflicts with the detoured traffic. During the three-day closure, crews will focus only on replacing the damaged section of the culvert. The remaining sections of the culvert that go underneath the southbound lanes will be addressed in a planned project that will be scheduled in the department’s Work Plan. “We appreciate the public’s patience as we deal with this unexpected situation and ask that motorists drive safely and courteously throughout the detour,” added Taylor.