AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Transportation will close two rest areas on Wednesday along Interstate 95 in Pittsfield, and privatize custodial services at five other rest areas along I-95 and I-295, all of which will remain open.
The changes, according to a press release, at these rest areas are part of a cost-cutting move designed to reduce Maine DOT’s budget. This move will eliminate 19 state positions and is projected to save more than $690,000 over the two-year budget period.
The two Pittsfield rest areas will be closed the evening of Wednesday, June 17. Signs will be erected on I-95 alerting motorists to the closing. These Pittsfield rest areas were selected for closure because other interstate rest areas are located in West Gardiner and Hampden; and because 10 miles north of these two facilities at Exit 157 in Newport there are restaurants, convenience stores, restrooms and parking 24 hours a day. Similar services are available at Exit 133 in Fairfield.
At the rest areas that remain open in Kittery, Yarmouth, Hampden, Medway and Houlton, the DOT has hired cleaning-service companies that will maintain the outside grounds and the interiors of the buildings. Pegasus Cleaning Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y., was awarded the contract for the rest areas at Kittery and Yarmouth, and Bangor Abatement Inc. was awarded the contract for Hampden, Medway and Houlton.
These companies were selected through the state’s competitive bidding process in which 10 companies bid on the contracts.
Visitor services that include tourism information will remain the same at the rest areas in Kittery, Yarmouth, Hampden and Houlton. These Visitor Information Centers are operated by the Maine Office of Tourism and provide an important service to Maine’s tourism industry.
The DOT will continue to operate more than 50 rest areas throughout the state at a cost of approximately $2 million annually.