Interstate 495 (Maine)

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Interstate 495 marker

Interstate 495
Route information
Maintained by Maine Turnpike Authority
Length: 3.70 mi[3] (5.95 km)
Existed: November 5, 2002 by AASHTO[1]
January 2004 on signage[2] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-95 (ME).svg I-95/Maine Turnpike in Portland
East end: I‑295 / US 1 in Falmouth
Highway system

State Routes in Maine

I‑395 US 1

Interstate 495 (I-495) is the unsigned designation for the Falmouth Spur, a short freeway connecting Interstate 95 with Interstate 295 and U.S. Route 1 north of Portland, Maine, United States. As part of the Maine Turnpike, the main line of which carries Interstate 95, I-495 is a toll road. The spur has only two interchanges - one at each end - and a toll booth in the middle. It is signed only for its destinations - I-95, I-295 and US 1[4] - to minimize driver confusion.[5]

Prior to January 2004, Interstate 495 was a 50.47-mile[6] (81.22 km) section of the Maine Turnpike, running from the west end of the Falmouth Spur (which carried Interstate 95) north to the present junction with Interstate 295 at Gardiner (south of Augusta). This was re-signed as I-95 in order to designate the whole Turnpike as I-95 and thus reduce confusion.[7] Most of the former I-95 between Portland and Augusta became an extension of Interstate 295, while the short Falmouth Spur was given the unsigned Interstate 495 designation.

Destinations on signs (control cities) are the same as when it was part of I-95 - Falmouth and Freeport for eastbound traffic from I-95, and Lewiston and Kittery (one for each direction of the Turnpike) for westbound traffic from US 1. Signs on I-295 southbound point traffic for New Hampshire, Massachusetts and "points south" along I-495.[4]

MUTCD-compliant mile markers proceed easterly from the western end with the letters FS (for Falmouth Spur) horizontally on a line below the word MILE and range from 0 to 3.

History[edit]

The Falmouth Spur was built as part of the second phase - Portland to Augusta - of the Maine Turnpike, opened December 13, 1955,[8] as well to allieviate traffic on Falmouth Road, the town's east to west connector, connecting Route 9 (Middle Road) and Routes 26 and 100 (Gray Road). The spur connected interchange 8, a trumpet interchange with the mainline Turnpike, with interchange 9, another trumpet at U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth. (The west end later became exit 9 - exit 8 was moved south to the new Westbrook interchange - and the east end became exit 15 on I-95.) The toll booth was just west of US 1, right where the Spur now crosses over Interstate 295.[9][10] The part of US 1 that it connected to had been built ca. 1948 as a realignment (old US 1 is Route 88), and the Spur connected the Turnpike, which headed inland at Portland, with US 1, a major route to and beyond Brunswick via the shore.[11]

When the Interstate Highway System was designed in the 1940s and 1950s, the main route along the east coast, numbered Interstate 95 in 1957, was assigned to the route via Brunswick to Augusta. Thus the Falmouth Spur became I-95, and the Turnpike was unnumbered between the Spur and Gardiner. Ca. 1960, the piece of I-95 (now I-295) north of the Spur was completed, and a partial interchange was added at its crossing with the Spur.[11] The toll booth was moved west at that time.

The Turnpike stayed unnumbered between Falmouth and Gardiner until around 1988, when it was added to the Interstate System as I-495.[12] This allowed it to have a speed limit higher than the National Maximum Speed Limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), as per the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987.

In 2002, the Maine Department of Transportation submitted a proposal to the American Association of State Highway Officials to relocate I-95 along I-495 and extend I-295 along I-95 to Gardiner, leaving the Falmouth Spur unnumbered. This was approved by AASHTO on November 5, 2002, with one change - the Falmouth Spur was assigned the Interstate 495 designation.[1] The Maine DOT and Maine Turnpike Authority decided not to sign or publicize I-495 to minimize confusion;[5] maps of the changes distributed to the public included the remark "existing I-95 becomes a ramp" or just "Falmouth Spur" pointing to the Spur. Signs were changed from January 5 to January 10, 2004[2][7] A prominent sign was posted near the New Hampshire state line informing travelers of the change, and that the information center had new maps.[4]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Cumberland County. All exits are unnumbered.

Location Mile[3] km Destinations Notes
Portland 0.0 0.0 I‑95 / Maine Turnpike – Auburn, Lewiston, Portland, Kittery Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
Falmouth Falmouth toll barrier
I‑295 north – Freeport, Brunswick Eastbound exit only
3.7 6.0 US 1 south to I‑295 – Falmouth Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only; formerly exit 15A (US 1 south) and 15B (US 1 north)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ a b Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Standing Committee on Highways, Tuesday, November 5, 2002 (PDF)
  2. ^ a b Maine Department of Transportation, Interstate I-95 Redesignation & Re-numbering Information
  3. ^ a b "Mapquest Driving Directions". Mapquest. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interstate 495 Maine". Interstate Guide. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b All along the interstate, new exit strategies, Portland Press Herald February 23, 2003
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration Route Log and Finder List - Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002
  7. ^ a b Maine Interstate Redesignation 2004 (PDF)
  8. ^ History of the Maine Turnpike Authority
  9. ^ USGS - 1957 Portland quadrangle
  10. ^ USGS - 1957 Casco Bay quadrangle
  11. ^ a b National Bridge Inventory
  12. ^ "kurumi: I-495 Maine". Kurumi. Retrieved 5 October 2014.