On Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31, 2019, Warren Avenue in Portland will be closed overnight for the removal of structural steel on the northbound bridge that carries turnpike mainline traffic over the city street. The closures are scheduled to begin at 10:00 PM each night and remain in effect until 5:00 AM the next morning. During the daytime hours Warren Avenue will remain open with two-lane, two-way traffic. Additional nighttime closures will be required for removal of steel from the southbound bridge but have yet to be scheduled. Work is weather permitting.
To assist motorists during the overnight closures, a detour route will be signed. Traffic will be routed around the construction site using Riverside Street and Forest Avenue. A typical detour will be roughly 2.5 miles long. The average annual daily traffic (AADT) on Warren Avenue is approximately 17,800 vehicles per day.
In addition to the overnight road closures of Warren Avenue, there will also be intermittent stoppages on the turnpike mainline northbound at Mile 49 as a safety precaution during the structural steel removal. The stoppages will last between 10 to 15 minutes at a time. These intermittent stoppages will occur between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM on Wednesday and Thursday evening.
This work is part of a $17.8 million project to replace the two mainline bridges built in 1956, located at Mile 49 on the turnpike, that carry traffic over Warren Avenue. The work includes removal of the existing bridges, construction of new higher and wider bridges and raising the mainline approaches about three feet in order to achieve a minimum clearance of 16 feet 6 inches.
“The existing under clearance of the bridges is 14 feet and they have been hit a number of times,” said Erin Courtney, public outreach manager for the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA).“Replacing these bridges should significantly lessen the chances they are hit again,” she said.
In addition to increasing the height, the new bridges will be wider to accommodate a third lane of traffic. The bridges will be widened to the outside to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction during construction.
This project was awarded to Reed & Reed, Inc. of Richmond, Maine in April 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in June of 2021.