FAIRFIELD, Maine — A deteriorating section of road has prompted the Maine Department of Transportation to post reduced-speed signs along a northbound stretch of Interstate 95.
The speed limit near Exit 133 in Fairfield is down to 40 mph until road crews can repair potholes to a section of the off-ramp. The overpass bridge on U.S. Route 201 is also in need of repairs.
At least one sign warns of “severe potholes” in the area.
“It’s not a safety issue. It’s more of a maintenance issue prior to it becoming a safety issue,” Ted Talbot, DOT spokesman, said Monday. “It’s something we didn’t want to put off until spring or summer. It’s rather severe enough to do it now. We were going to do the work last Thursday, but the storm hit.”
Maine State Police asked the DOT to lower the speeds in the area because of the condition of the road, said Talbot.
“There’s been some blown tires and minor damage to vehicles [because of the road conditions],” he said.
DOT officials will meet Wednesday to devise a work schedule. Talbot said road patching work will likely begin Monday or Tuesday of next week — one or two days before the ramp is closed in order to perform bridge work.
The off-ramp will be open while crews are patching the roads, Talbot said. However, the ramp will be closed when bridge work is being done. Those who would normally take Exit 133 will be directed to use Exit 132.
Work is needed on the overlay of the deck and joints to the bridge, Talbot said. The ramp will be closed for one day.
Doing road work in the winter is “extremely rare” for the DOT, said Talbot.
“This is just to get us through the wintertime,” he said.
The road work will have to be done again during the spring or summer, he said.