Interstate 95 in Maine

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This article is about the section of Interstate 95 in Maine. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 95.

Interstate 95 marker

Interstate 95
Maine Turnpike in green, the rest of I-95 in red
Route information
Maintained by MDOT and Maine Turnpike Authority
Length: 303.20 mi[2] (487.95 km)
Maine Turnpike: 101.43 miles (163.24 km)[1]
Existed: 1960 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑95 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  I‑195 in Saco
I‑295 near Portland
I‑495 in Portland
US 202 / SR 4 / SR 100 in Gray and Auburn
I‑295 near Gardiner
US 202 / SR 11 / SR 17 / SR 100 in Augusta
US 201 in Fairfield
I‑395 / SR 15 in Bangor
US 2 / SR 100 in Bangor
US 1 in Houlton
North end: NB 95.pngUS 2.svg Route 95 / US 2 at the Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing
Highway system

State Routes in Maine

SR 94 SR 95

In the U.S. state of Maine, Interstate 95 (I-95) is a 303-mile-long (488 km) highway running from the New Hampshire border near Kittery, to the Canadian border near Houlton. It is the only two-digit Interstate Highway in Maine. In 2004, the highway's route between Portland and Gardiner was changed so that it encompasses the entire Maine Turnpike (including the former I-495 between Falmouth and Gardiner), which runs from Kittery to Augusta.

Route description[edit]

Northbound in Kittery, Maine

I-95 enters Maine from New Hampshire on the Piscataqua River Bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire with Kittery. At mile 2 (Spruce Creek) in Kittery, the highway becomes the Maine Turnpike. The highway runs in a general northeasterly direction, parallel with U.S. 1, at this point. I-95 bypasses the Biddeford/Saco area, with a spur route (Interstate 195) connecting to Old Orchard Beach.

At Scarborough, Interstate 95 meets Interstate 295. The highway turns north, serving the Portland International Jetport and bypassing Portland to the west. At Falmouth, the highway meets unsigned Interstate 495, also called the Falmouth Spur. Until January 2004, I-95 followed the Falmouth Spur and I-295 between Falmouth and Gardiner.

The highway continues north along the Maine Turnpike (which was I-495 prior to 2004) through Gray to Auburn and Lewiston, which the Turnpike bypasses to the south. The highway then runs in an easterly direction to meet Interstate 295 at Gardiner. From there, I-95 parallels the Kennebec River past Augusta and Waterville. The highway crosses the river at Fairfield and then turns northeast along the Sebasticook River past Pittsfield to Newport.

I-95 then continues east alongside U.S. Route 2 from Newport to Bangor, where Interstate 395 connects to the city of Brewer. The highway runs along the northern edge of Bangor's center, then turns northeast, following the Penobscot River past Orono and Old Town (Prior to the early 1980s, I-95 was a super two highway north of Old Town).

The highway continues north, still running near the river, towards Howland. Near Lincoln, Interstate 95 runs north through uninhabited forest land, crossing the Penobscot River at Medway. The highway goes northeast and east, passing a series of small Aroostook County farming towns before reaching Houlton, where it connects to New Brunswick Route 95 and U.S. Route 2 at the international border. North of Bangor, traffic levels drop noticeably, with AADT averaging only about 5,000 in northern Penobscot County and going down to as low as 2,000–4,000 in Houlton.[3]

Speed limits[edit]

The Maine Turnpike had a posted speed limit of 70 mph in the early 1970s, but as Maine then had no law against traveling less than 10 mph over the posted speed, the de facto speed limit was 79 mph. In 1974, as part of a federal mandate, the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph, with a new law including a "less than 10 over" violation. In 1987, Congress allowed states to post 65 mph on rural interstate highways. Following the relaxation, Maine increased its speed limit. In May 2011, a bill was introduced to raise the speed limit from Old Town to Houlton from 65 to 75 mph. It passed, with Maine the first state east of the Mississippi River since the 1970s to establish a 75 mph speed limit.[4][5]

A further law passed in 2013 by the Maine Legislature allowed the Maine Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority to change speed limits with the approval of the Maine State Police. Per that law, Maine DOT increased the 65 mph limit to 70 mph on several sections of Interstate 95 on May 27, 2014. These areas included the section from mile marker 114 just outside of Augusta to mile 126 just before Waterville. In addition, the section from Fairfield (just above Waterville) to Bangor also saw an increase to 70.[6] Speed limits on sections controlled by the Turnpike Authority increased on August 11, 2014. The sections from mile marker 2.1 in Kittery to mile marker 44.1 in Scarborough, and the section from mile marker 52.3 in Falmouth to mile marker 109 in Augusta, increased from 65 mph to 70 mph. The section from mile marker 44.1 in Scarborough to mile marker 52.3 in Falmouth increased from 55 mph to 60 mph. The Falmouth Spur, outside the toll plaza area, increased from 50 mph to 60 mph.[7]

Exit list[edit]

Note: toll rates listed in this exit list are for Class 1 vehicles paying cash. They do not reflect lower rates for drivers using E-ZPass tags or higher rates for other vehicle classes.

County Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
York Kittery 0.0 0.0 I‑95 south – Portsmouth Continuation into New Hampshire
0.6 1.0 1 To SR 103 / Dennett Road – Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Eliot Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.1 1.8 2
US 1 south / SR 236 south / US 1 Byp. south / Traffic Circle – Downtown Kittery
1.3 2.1 3 US 1 north (Coastal Route) / SR 236 north – Kittery, South Berwick Southbound exit is via exit 2
York 6.8 10.9 7 To SR 91 to US 1 – The Yorks, Ogunquit, The Berwicks
7.2 11.6 Maine Turnpike York Toll Barrier—Cars $3
Wells 19.1 30.7 19 SR 9 / SR 109 – Wells, Sanford Entrance toll $1.50 (northbound only)
Kennebunk 25.2 40.6 25 SR 35 – Kennebunk, Kennebunkport Entrance toll $1
Biddeford 31.1 50.1 32 SR 111 – Biddeford Entrance toll $1
Saco 35.2 56.6 36 I‑195 east – Saco, Old Orchard Beach Entrance toll $1
Cumberland Scarborough 41.9 67.4 42 To US 1 – Scarborough Entrance toll $1
South Portland 43.6 70.2 44 I‑295 north – South Portland, Downtown Portland Northbound exit and southbound entrance; toll $1 both directions
44.3 71.3 45 To I‑295 / US 1 / SR 114 / Maine Mall Road, Payne Road Entrance toll $1
Portland 45.5 73.2 46 To SR 22 / SR 9 (Congress Street) – Portland International Jetport Entrance toll $1
46.7 75.2 47 To SR 25 / Rand Road, Westbrook Arterial Entrance toll $1
47.8 76.9 48 To SR 25 / US 302 / Riverside Street, Larrabee Road Entrance toll $1
50.8 81.8 52 To I‑295 / US 1 – Falmouth, Freeport Toll $1 both directions on I-495
Falmouth 51.6 83.0 53 SR 26 / SR 100 – West Falmouth Entrance toll $1
New Gloucester 62.2 100.1 63 US 202 / SR 115 / SR 4 to SR 26 – Gray, New Gloucester Entrance toll $1.50 (southbound only)
66.1 106.4 New Gloucester Toll Barrier—Cars $2.25
Androscoggin Auburn 74.2 119.4 75 US 202 / SR 4 / SR 100 – Auburn
Lewiston 79.0 127.1 80 To SR 196 – Lewiston
Sabattus 84.9 136.6 86 SR 9 – Sabattus, Lisbon
Kennebec West Gardiner 99.7 160.5
Gardiner 101.9 164.0 102 SR 9 / SR 126 to I‑295 south – Gardiner, Litchfield Northbound exit and southbound entrance
103.0 165.8 103 I‑295 south to SR 9 / SR 126 – Gardiner, Brunswick Southbound exit and northbound entrance; toll $1 either direction
Augusta 109.5 176.2 109 US 202 / SR 11 / SR 17 / SR 100 – Augusta, Winthrop Signed as exits 109A (west) and 109B (east) southbound
112.0 180.2 112 SR 8 / SR 11 / SR 27 – Augusta, Belgrade Signed as exits 112A (south) and 112B (north) northbound
112.9 181.7 113 SR 3 – Augusta, Belfast
Sidney 120.5 193.9 120 Lyons Road, Sidney
Waterville 127.2 204.7 127 SR 11 / SR 137 – Waterville, Oakland
130.2 209.5 130 SR 104 (Main Street) – Waterville, Winslow
Somerset Fairfield 132.3 212.9 132 SR 139 – Fairfield, Benton
133.3 214.5 133 US 201 – Fairfield, Skowhegan
Kennebec Clinton 137.9 221.9 138 Hinckley Road—Clinton, Burnham
Waldo
No major junctions
Somerset Pittsfield 149.8 241.1 150 Somerset Avenue—Pittsfield, Hartland, Burnham
Palmyra 156.7 252.2 157 SR 11 / SR 100 to SR 7 / US 2 – Newport, Dexter, Skowhegan
Penobscot Newport 158.8 255.6 159 Ridge Road—Newport, Plymouth Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Plymouth 160.6 258.5 161 SR 7 – East Newport, Plymouth
Etna 166.9 268.6 167 SR 69 / SR 143 – Etna, Dixmont
Newburgh 173.6 279.4 174 SR 69 – Carmel, Winterport
Hampden 179.5 288.9 180 Cold Brook Road—Hermon, Hampden
Bangor 182.1 293.1 182A I‑395 / SR 15 south to US 1A / SR 9 – Bangor, Brewer South end of SR 15 overlap
182.4 293.5 182B To US 2 west / SR 100 west – Hermon, Bangor
183.1 294.7 183 US 2 / SR 100 (Hammond Street) – Bangor International Airport
183.9 296.0 184 SR 222 (Union Street) / Ohio Street – Bangor International Airport
185.3 298.2 185 SR 15 north (Broadway) – Brewer, Bangor North end of SR 15 overlap
186.3 299.8 186 Stillwater Avenue No northbound entrance
187.1 301.1 187 Hogan Road—Bangor, Veazie
Orono 190.5 306.6 191 Kelly Road—Orono, Veazie
192.7 310.1 193 Stillwater Avenue—Stillwater, Old Town, Orono
Old Town 196.7 316.6 197 SR 43 – Old Town, Hudson
Lagrange 199.0 320.3 199 SR 16 – Alton, Lagrange, Milo Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Howland 216.3 348.1 217 SR 6 / SR 155 – Howland, Lagrange
Lincoln 227.1 365.5 227 To US 2 / SR 6 / SR 116 – Lincoln, Mattawamkeag
Medway 244.0 392.7 244 SR 157 – Medway, Millinocket, Mattawamkeag
Benedicta 258.2 415.5 259 Casey Rd – Benedicta Northbound exit and southbound entrance / I 95 in Aroostook county for 1/2-mile
Aroostook Sherman 263.8 424.5 264 SR 158 to SR 11 – Sherman, Patten
Island Falls 275.4 443.2 276 SR 159 – Island Falls, Patten
Oakfield 285.3 459.1 286 Oakfield Road—Oakfield, Smyrna Mills
Smyrna 290.7 467.8 291 US 2 – Smyrna
Houlton 301.3 484.9 302 US 1 – Houlton, Presque Isle
304.1 489.4 305 US 2 west – Houlton International Airport, Industrial Park East end of US 2
304.4 489.9 Route 95 east – Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing, Woodstock Northern end of I-95; Continuation into New Brunswick, Canada
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Maine Turnpike[edit]

Maine Turnpike shield

History[edit]

The Maine Turnpike Authority was created by the Maine Legislature in 1941 to connect Kittery and Fort Kent. In 1947, the first section of highway, designated the Maine Turnpike, opened between Kittery and Portland. In 1953, the Turnpike Authority began construction on an extension to the state capital at Augusta using the former right-of-way of the Portland–Lewiston Interurban railway from Portland through Falmouth.[8] The original turnpike was the largest construction project in the state's history until the construction of the extension, which opened to the public on December 13, 1955.[9]

The Maine Turnpike was the first highway funded using revenue bonds. It remains self-financed, and does not receive funding from the state or federal government. When the first section opened in 1947, it was only the second superhighway in the United States. For these reasons, the Maine Turnpike was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999[10] .

In 1956, one year after the Portland-Augusta extension opened, Congress created the Interstate Highway System. The remaining sections to be built – from Augusta to Fort Kent – would be publicly funded freeways instead of toll roads under the Maine Turnpike Authority. Today this highway, which ends at Houlton instead of Fort Kent, is signed as Interstate 95 throughout and the Maine Turnpike between the New Hampshire line at Kittery and the junction with US 202 near Augusta.

The former head of the Maine Turnpike Authority served 19 months in prison for stealing as much as $230,000 from the toll revenue generated by the Maine Turnpike Authority for his personal use from 2003 to 2010.[11]

Tolls[edit]

The segment of Interstate 95 from Kittery to Augusta runs along the Maine Turnpike. This is a toll road for all of its length except for short sections near Kittery and Lewiston. Flat-fee tolls are paid upon entering the turnpike. There are also barrier tolls in York, New Gloucester, and West Gardiner. Drivers using exits 44, 52, and 103 must also pay an additional toll upon exiting. There is no entrance toll for southbound traffic entering at exit 19 or northbound traffic entering at exit 63. The turnpike joined the E-ZPass electronic toll collection network in 2005, replacing the former Maine-only system designated Transpass that was implemented in 1997.[12]

The tollbooths on the Maine Turnpike were not supposed to be permanent. Toll collections were to stop once the Maine Turnpike Authority paid off the debt from the road's construction. In the 1980s the bonds were going to be paid off but the Maine Legislature authorized the Maine Turnpike Authority in 1982 to continue as a quasi-governmental agency and to continue to collect tolls in order to fund the maintenance of the section of highway controlled by the MTA.[13]

Service areas[edit]

There are five service areas on the turnpike. Two are accessible northbound, two southbound, and one is accessible from both directions. All are open 24 hours and provide food and fuel services. They also have ATMs. Some have small gift shops. The plazas are at the following locations:

  • Kennebunk plazas: Northbound and southbound at MP 25—food, fuel, gift shop. The original plazas, which included Howard Johnson's restaurants, opened in 1947 and incorporated a pedestrian tunnel under the highway to connect the two. These original plazas were replaced in 1972 and the tunnel was sealed. These 1972 plazas were replaced during the winter of 2006–2007. Both service plazas open with "food court layout featuring Starbucks coffee, Burger King, Hershey’s Ice Cream, a Z-Market convenience store and a Popeye’s Chicken on the northbound side and Sbarros Pizza on the southbound side."[14]
  • Gray plaza (NB)/Cumberland plaza (SB): Northbound and Southbound at MP 58—food and fuel. Both plazas have been replaced with new service plazas with a Starbucks and a Z-Market convenience store.
  • West Gardiner plaza: At the I-95/I-295/ME 126 intersection,accessible by both directions of I-95 and I-295. Food court, fuel, gift shop, information.

There is a Rest Area / Tourist Welcome Center located on the turnpike Northbound at MP 3 in Kittery.

There are weigh stations located on the turnpike Northbound and Southbound in York at MP 4 (SB) and MP 6 (NB).

There are ramps to/from the northbound turnpike to the Saco Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Saco at MP 35 (Old MP 33 before the southern extension).[15] The ramps are from the original exit 5 which was replaced when I-195 was opened just to the north. The hotel was built on the site of the old toll plaza. Ramps connecting the hotel to/from the southbound turnpike were removed as part of the widening project in the early 2000s, when hotel ownership opted not to pay nearly $1 million to build a new bridge.

Previous to the West Gardiner rest area opening, there were rest areas located in Lewiston (Southbound at MP 83) and Litchfield (Northbound at MP 98).

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing


Interstate 95
Previous state:
New Hampshire
Maine Next state:
Terminus