Maine renumbers highway markers

| Friday, December 07, 2001

In an effort to eliminate driver confusion, the Maine Department of Transportation is renumbering mile markers on Interstate 95 in anticipation of swapping the route designations for the two major highways between Falmouth and Gardiner. The renumbering will reflect actual mileage.

The switch means the Maine Turnpike will become I-95 for its entire length, instead of just its southern end. The stretch of interstate that runs north toward Gardiner, through Freeport, will become I-495.

Currently, I-95 branches off the turnpike in Falmouth, and continues north to West Gardiner via Freeport. In the new system, that stretch of road would be renamed I-495. The portion of the turnpike that runs between Falmouth and West Gardiner through Lewiston will be I-95.

The new system is designed to bring order to Maine's confusing highway route numbers. It will also allow the state to convert its system of sequentially numbered highway exits to one based on mileage.

The changes are scheduled to take effect in 2003. The state Legislature adopted the changes last summer, and federal officials are expected to approve the plan next spring. The turnpike authority is scheduled to start its renumbering this summer.

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