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.