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Author Topic: Maine  (Read 170204 times)

BlueOutback7

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Re: Maine
« Reply #425 on: March 19, 2023, 07:49:49 AM »

US 201 north of Waterville would make more sense given that it connects towards roughly the same path as Autoroute 73 in Quebec. Not absolutely necessary, but makes more sense than extending I-95.
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Beeper1

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Re: Maine
« Reply #426 on: April 12, 2023, 10:05:43 PM »

Work is beginning on the new Saco interchange.   As part of that, the ramps to the Ramada hotel are no more.  They were closed permanently back on March 20th.  Those ramps will now be modified to the new ramps for ME-112.
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: Maine
« Reply #427 on: April 13, 2023, 05:25:47 AM »

Work is beginning on the new Saco interchange.   As part of that, the ramps to the Ramada hotel are no more.  They were closed permanently back on March 20th.  Those ramps will now be modified to the new ramps for ME-112.

The Ramada ramp must have been one of the last of its kind.
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sturmde

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Re: Maine
« Reply #428 on: April 29, 2023, 01:13:10 AM »

US 201 north of Waterville would make more sense given that it connects towards roughly the same path as Autoroute 73 in Quebec. Not absolutely necessary, but makes more sense than extending I-95.

No, the most pressing need to promote to a 4-lane route would be US 1A east from Bangor to Ellsworth (and onward with ME 3 to the bridge to Mount Desert Island a/k/a Bar Harbor).  It doesn't need to be divided -- the terrain makes it tough to do dual roadway, but a five lane Florida type might work...  Head-on collisions with the current 2-lane and occasional passing lane 3-lane are really a problem though...  Might need to do some new terrain sections, and such...
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Quebec might send A-73 someday down towards Lac Megantic and the border at Woburn: I've always envisioned a multinational route 102, a christened QC 102 cosigned on A-10, then running along QC 108 & 212 to Coburn Gore, and a new ME 102 or US 102 along ME 27, ME 16, US 201A, ME 139, I-95, I-395, 395 extension, ME 9, US 1 New Crossing... to NB 1 (cosigned as a new NB 102) and NB 2 into Nova Scotia with NS 102 replacing NS 104 west of current NS 102.  A true 102 corridor 3M: Montreal - Maine - Maritimes, or Montreal - Halifax Highway...
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froggie

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Re: Maine
« Reply #429 on: April 29, 2023, 08:42:38 AM »

US 201 north of Waterville would make more sense given that it connects towards roughly the same path as Autoroute 73 in Quebec. Not absolutely necessary, but makes more sense than extending I-95.

No, the most pressing need to promote to a 4-lane route would be US 1A east from Bangor to Ellsworth (and onward with ME 3 to the bridge to Mount Desert Island a/k/a Bar Harbor).  It doesn't need to be divided -- the terrain makes it tough to do dual roadway, but a five lane Florida type might work...  Head-on collisions with the current 2-lane and occasional passing lane 3-lane are really a problem though...  Might need to do some new terrain sections, and such...

I would disagree there.  US 1 from Bath to Wiscasset (if not all the way to Newcastle) is more problematic and has notably higher volumes than 1A.
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Plutonic Panda

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Maine
« Reply #431 on: July 25, 2023, 01:18:58 PM »

The new roadway will be constructed as a two-lane highway, thus the reason why it will be numbered ME 9 and not as an extension of Interstate 395. Maybe if the roadway is eventually expanded to four lanes, the 395 designation can be extended as well.
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kramie13

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Re: Maine
« Reply #432 on: August 25, 2023, 04:05:33 PM »

I'm taking a trip up to Maine next week and I was looking at the toll calculator for the Maine Turnpike.

From Exit 19 (Wells) to Exit 42 (Scarborough), the toll is $1.50.  But get off at Exit 44 (I-295) and it's a buck more ($2.50).  But drive an extra mile on the toll road and get off at Exit 45 and it's a $1.50 toll again?  Who designed this toll system?

And worst of all, from Exit 7 (York) to Exit 19 (Wells), the toll is $4.00.  Why is this 12-mile stretch significantly more costly?
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fwydriver405

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Re: Maine
« Reply #433 on: August 25, 2023, 04:51:23 PM »

I'm taking a trip up to Maine next week and I was looking at the toll calculator for the Maine Turnpike.

From Exit 19 (Wells) to Exit 42 (Scarborough), the toll is $1.50.  But get off at Exit 44 (I-295) and it's a buck more ($2.50).  But drive an extra mile on the toll road and get off at Exit 45 and it's a $1.50 toll again?  Who designed this toll system?

And worst of all, from Exit 7 (York) to Exit 19 (Wells), the toll is $4.00.  Why is this 12-mile stretch significantly more costly?

The Maine Turnpike has a strange tolling system, where Cash and Out of State E-ZPasses are charged a flat rate, while those with Maine E-ZPasses use a modifed virtual ticket system (Distance based tolls). I believe a traditional ticket system was used up until Transpass, now E-ZPass in 2005, was introduced in September 1997. The Turnpike Authority changed from using the ticket system to using a "fixed fare" system around that time as well, though I'm not sure if Transpass and the early E-ZPass system charged a lower toll (or even used the virtual ticket system / distance based tolls as it is since 2012) in it's infancy, prior to the 2012 toll increase.

Quote from: Maine Turnpike Authority - History
In September 1997, the Authority launched New England’s “first”  electronic toll collection (ETC) system called Transpass. The ETC technology available on the market in the early 1990’s had not evolved to a level whereby a standard device was commercially available to conduct multi-state transactions. Yet, the need to address growing traffic congestion at toll plazas increased the importance to utilize new technology to assist in toll collection, other than the 50-year practice of handing out and collecting toll tickets. Along with bringing in ETC, the Authority also converted to a new cash system. The new system charges a “fixed fare”  for each vehicle class, paid upon entering the highway, and thereby eliminating the need to stop at the exit locations. The combination of these two systems reduced traffic stops at the entering tolls for ETC customers and eliminated stops upon exiting for all customers. These systems have reduced the need to add more toll lanes. It also has saved the Authority and Turnpike toll payers millions of dollars that would otherwise have been spent to add new lanes at toll plazas.

Exit 44 off of I-95 North has always charged an additional exit toll (for cash and Out of State E-ZPasses) for quite some time now - it's why some northbound motorists who are Cash or Out of State E-ZPass looking to go to I-295 north from I-95 north get off at Exit 45 and then use ME Route 703 (Maine Turnpike Approach) to hop back onto I-295 North (Exit E) since there's no exit toll via those movements. There is also an exit toll (for cash and Out of State E-ZPasses) on Exit 52: Falmouth Spur TO I-295 North / US Route 1 as well.

Quote from: Maine Turnpike Authority - FAQ
Why do some interchanges have an entrance fee and others do not?
 
In 1999, the northern end of the Turnpike was converted from a closed to open barrier system. The open system has mainline toll plazas only located at New Gloucester and West Gardiner. As a result of the change, toll plazas were removed from the Lewiston and Auburn interchanges to create more efficiency in toll collection and improve movement of traffic. The Sabattus interchange was constructed in 2004. In addition, southbound Turnpike travel when entering at Wells and northbound entrance from Gray have no tolls due to respective proximity to mainline toll plazas.

For the record, here's the toll rates with both forms of tender to both Exits 44 and 45 from the exits from the south:

to Exit 44 (cash/Out of State E-ZPass)to Exit 44 (Maine E-ZPass)to Exit 45 (cash/Out of State E-ZPass)to Exit 45 (Maine E-ZPass)
York Toll Plaza$5.00$2.95$4.00$3.00
Exit 19$2.50$2.00$1.50$1.50
Exit 25$2.00$1.50$1.00$1.00
Exit 32$2.00$1.00$1.00$1.00
Exit 35 (under construction)$TBD$TBD$TBD$TBD
Exit 36$2.00$0.70$1.00$0.75
Exit 42$2.00$0.50$1.00$0.50

As for the York Toll Plaza, for Cash and Out of State E-ZPasses only, it was upped from $2 -> $3 on 2012-11-01, and from $3 -> $4 on 2021-11-01. Again, this rate can vary for Maine E-ZPass users only ($0.95 - 6.70). Interestingly, the Maine E-ZPass toll rate between the York Toll Plaza and Exit 44: I-295 is $2.95... not sure that's a coincidence.
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sturmde

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Re: Maine
« Reply #434 on: August 25, 2023, 05:22:35 PM »

:
:
And worst of all, from Exit 7 (York) to Exit 19 (Wells), the toll is $4.00.  Why is this 12-mile stretch significantly more costly?

It's not 12-miles you're paying for... it's also everything from the bridge at Mile 0 to Exit 19.  No one coming in from out of state is exiting much at 7 and taking US 1 to Portland, and putting a tollbooth just past the bridge would create tremendous traffic backups... not unlike what the old drawbridge would do before 95 was finished.  Even in the "old days", the first toll booth was between Exit 3 and Exit 7.  Consider the toll also covered the huge improvement of the at-speed toll collection system.... MUCH better than the old Mile 8 tollbooths that backed up...
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Now, New Hampshire needs to do something quickly about the backups on I-95 at the Hampton Toll.  The weaving and folks slowing down is ridiculously dangerous.
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shadyjay

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Re: Maine
« Reply #435 on: August 25, 2023, 05:30:27 PM »

If you look on the offramps (those that are not charged tolls), there are sensors over the lanes.  These are meant to read the EZ-PASS and somehow determine the difference between a METpke-issued EZ-PASS and an out of state EZ-PASS.  That's how the "virtual ticket system" knows if a METpke-issued EZ-PASS vehicle has exited the system. 

The former ticket system used to be in place all the way up to MM 109 at the north end of the turnpike, where there used to be a barrier (surrender ticket NB/pickup ticket SB).  At some point, the system was altered north of the Gray area, with the New Gloucester tolls being the new north end of the ticket system and I'm guessing at that time the Gardiner toll plaza was built.  This replaced the Augusta barrier.  The pre-existing barrier at Exit 103 (today's I-295, but then I-95) was changed to a flat rate toll.  Then later, the ticket system was abandoned in favor of fixed tolls at all barriers. 

At one point there was talk of getting rid of most of the (south of Exit 63) entrance tolls in favor of a new mainline barrier in the Saco area.  That would probably have caused the METpke-Issued EZ-PASS "virtual ticket" system to be eliminated.  Guess they voted against that idea.  Really makes me want to switch my EZ-PASS account to the Maine Turnpike, as I could get the in-state rate.  Right now I have a MassDOT-issued EZ-PASS and I get charged the out of state rate (I'm a CT resident), so there's really no benefit to having one through Mass (even though I probably use the MassPike more than the Maine Pike.

And if you don't like the $4 toll at York, you can always get off Exit 3 or 7 and take Route 1 up to Wells.  However, the slog through York, Ogonquit, Wells, etc may make the $4 seem like nothing in the end.
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fwydriver405

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Re: Maine
« Reply #436 on: August 25, 2023, 06:01:31 PM »

Now, New Hampshire needs to do something quickly about the backups on I-95 at the Hampton Toll.  The weaving and folks slowing down is ridiculously dangerous.

NHDOT put an overlay on the toll plaza approach signs sometime in 2023, indicating that both Cash and E-ZPasses are accepted at the toll plaza (although it always has been since it opened in 2010 - it initially said just “Cash” ). Before this change, from 2019-2022, they put a message on portable VMSes saying “E-ZPass Lanes”  “OPEN AT TOLL PLAZA”  along with additional E-ZPass Only lanes on the peak direction.

I believe with NHDOTs eventual switch to AET, this may be a thing of the past, though I’m not sure when the Hampton, Bedford and Hookset plazas will be converted. So far the Spaulding AET conversion is active and the old plazas being dismantled.
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Maine
« Reply #437 on: August 28, 2023, 08:54:36 AM »

I believe with NHDOTs eventual switch to AET, this may be a thing of the past, though I’m not sure when the Hampton, Bedford and Hookset plazas will be converted. So far the Spaulding AET conversion is active and the old plazas being dismantled.

Bedford is supposed to be up next, which make sense, since it's the only remaining plaza without any ORT lanes. NHDOT's new online Project Center only seems to include selected projects though - the AET conversion was project Bedford 16100.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: Maine
« Reply #438 on: August 28, 2023, 10:25:41 AM »

And worst of all, from Exit 7 (York) to Exit 19 (Wells), the toll is $4.00.  Why is this 12-mile stretch significantly more costly?

It's not 12-miles you're paying for... it's also everything from the bridge at Mile 0 to Exit 19.  No one coming in from out of state is exiting much at 7 and taking US 1 to Portland, and putting a tollbooth just past the bridge would create tremendous traffic backups... not unlike what the old drawbridge would do before 95 was finished.  Even in the "old days", the first toll booth was between Exit 3 and Exit 7.  Consider the toll also covered the huge improvement of the at-speed toll collection system.... MUCH better than the old Mile 8 tollbooths that backed up...

Looking at it from MeTA's perspective, you have to admit it kind of makes sense to put the highest toll not only in the busier (busiest?) portion of the highway, but also close to the New Hampshire line where all the out-of-state traffic from Boston & beyond pours into the state. When you combine this setup with the fact that MeTA only grants the virtual-ticket tolling to their own E-ZPass users, it's obvious their goal is to generate the bulk of their revenue from out-of-state.

I personally don't mind the $4 toll if I'm continuing thru to Portland & beyond (as I did back in May during a roadtrip to Portland & Bar Harbor/Acadia), but I would probably shunpike if I was going to be getting off at exits 19 or 25 anyway.

Now, New Hampshire needs to do something quickly about the backups on I-95 at the Hampton Toll.  The weaving and folks slowing down is ridiculously dangerous.

This is an interesting phenomenon that's started happening with some of the toll plazas that were first to add open-road tolling. Within the past year I've started to notice the same thing happening at the Delaware Turnpike toll plaza with rolling backups squeezing into the 2 ORT lanes while the 2 cash lanes are almost empty - presumably a victim of the ever-increasing popularity of E-ZPass compounded by adjacent states (MD & MA in this case) going all-electronic. It seems like it'll be an easier fix at Hampton compared to Newark, given the fact that DelDOT splits the cash & E-ZPass lanes a mile in advance on either side.
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kramie13

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Re: Maine
« Reply #439 on: September 06, 2023, 03:28:21 PM »

So last week I took a trip up to Portland, ME and back.  I've noticed the exit signs along the Maine Turnpike/I-95 have been replaced since I last drove that stretch several years ago.

But why are exits 19, 25, and 32 all signed as "to US 1" now when they previously didn't before?  You now have 8 of the first 9 exits after crossing the NH border referencing US 1 (all but the exit for I-195).  It seems rather weird to me.
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: Maine
« Reply #440 on: September 06, 2023, 05:23:39 PM »

So last week I took a trip up to Portland, ME and back.  I've noticed the exit signs along the Maine Turnpike/I-95 have been replaced since I last drove that stretch several years ago.

But why are exits 19, 25, and 32 all signed as "to US 1" now when they previously didn't before?  You now have 8 of the first 9 exits after crossing the NH border referencing US 1 (all but the exit for I-195).  It seems rather weird to me.

I’m guessing because US-1 is a major artery paralleling the Turnpike with many businesses and attractions, and the state wants to remind folks that those exits can access US-1 relatively easily.
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Rothman

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Re: Maine
« Reply #441 on: September 06, 2023, 07:09:07 PM »

kernals12, kramie13...next Massachusetts member will be...?
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SectorZ

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Re: Maine
« Reply #442 on: September 06, 2023, 07:56:09 PM »

kernals12, kramie13...next Massachusetts member will be...?

lejlq14 if it's a sequence
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Re: Maine
« Reply #443 on: September 06, 2023, 08:22:52 PM »

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Re: Maine
« Reply #445 on: September 13, 2023, 09:03:34 AM »

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fwydriver405

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Re: Maine
« Reply #446 on: September 13, 2023, 09:17:24 AM »

Looks like MaineDOT and NHDOT is testing the part time breakdown lane travel, or as they call it "dynamic part-time shoulder use (PTSU)" nightly starting on 14 September 2023 on the Piscataqua River Bridge.

MaineDOT Press Release / NHDOT Press Release / Maine Turnpike Authority Press Release (all three have the same text)

Informational flyer from MaineDOT / NHDOT / Maine Turnpike Authority

Quote from: MaineDOT - News Release for September 11, 2023
Dynamic Part-Time Shoulder Use System Testing on I-95 in Portsmouth and Kittery
KITTERY - This week, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA), will begin testing the messaging components for the new dynamic part-time shoulder use (PTSU) system that was recently installed on I-95 between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. This system was developed to help relieve congestion during peak traffic times on the I-95 Piscataqua River Bridge between the two states. Testing is scheduled to begin at night on Thursday, September 14th.

Nighttime shoulder closures, both northbound and southbound, will occur intermittently over the next several weeks for final system testing. Motorists will see the system's messaging components (beacons and lane use signals) turn on and off at various times during the testing. Message boards will be utilized to alert travelers that tests are being performed. The shoulder lanes will remain closed to through traffic and should only be used for emergencies. A final press release will announce the date the system will become operational for motorists.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2023, 09:27:01 AM by fwydriver405 »
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: Maine
« Reply #447 on: September 13, 2023, 09:24:07 AM »

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Maine
« Reply #448 on: September 13, 2023, 11:30:58 AM »

Google Maps has been updated to show the newly renamed Samantha Smith Way: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6284676,-70.3287604,1703m/data=!3m1!1e3?entry=ttu.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: Maine
« Reply #449 on: September 25, 2023, 05:29:01 PM »

Speaking of Google maps, GSV show the construction work on Maine Tpk at ME-112 taken last July. https://maps.app.goo.gl/AsSQGmrcag72nTJz5
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