Maine Turnpike ramp to close during construction

Posted July 13, 2010, at 7:57 a.m.

FALMOUTH, Maine — A major construction project is getting under way on the Maine Turnpike that will shut down an entrance ramp to the highway for a year.

The entry ramp from the Falmouth spur to the northbound lanes of the turnpike were set to close Tuesday morning to allow crews to begin repairs on a nearby bridge over the Presumpscot River.

Turnpike spokesman Dan Paradee said turnpike officials looked at ways to keep the ramp open during construction, but concluded it would create unsafe conditions for drivers and construction workers.

By closing the ramp during the first 12 months of the work, he said the overall project will take 18 months instead of 27 months.

Turnpike officials say motorists will need to find an alternate route during the construction period.