PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Turnpike Authority announced Monday that it plans to open a new E-ZPass highway speed toll facility at the mile 67 New Gloucester Toll Plaza between the Gray and Auburn exits, on Monday, April 1.
When the E-ZPass highway speed toll lanes are opened to traffic, they will allow motorists using E-ZPass to pay tolls electronically while driving at 65 miles per hour.
“The major goals of this project are to improve convenience, cut operating costs and reduce vehicle emissions. Highway speed E-ZPass lanes will eliminate the need to slow down or stop when paying tolls. They can electronically process tolls for up to 3,000 cars and trucks per hour when compared to 325 vehicles per hour in a cash lane,” Maine Turnpike Executive Director Peter Mills said in a press release.
“E-ZPass highway speed toll lanes will also save time, while reducing fuel costs and emissions for most commercial trucks,” added Mills. “Approximately 80 percent of the Turnpike’s commercial customers use E-ZPass. Those drivers will now be able to travel between York and West Gardiner at highway speeds using E-ZPass without slowing down to pay tolls.”
The $4.4 million toll plaza improvement construction contract was awarded to Wyman & Simpson, Inc. of Richmond. The project will result in one highway speed lane and three mixed toll lanes (cash and E-ZPass) in each direction at the plaza. The highway speed lanes will be separated from the mixed toll lanes by a concrete barrier. All lanes accept E-ZPass.
If cash toll customers find themselves in the “E-ZPass Only” highway speed lane, the driver should continue traveling through the toll plaza area:
• Do not stop.
• Do not back up
• Do not pull over in or after the toll plaza
• Do not attempt to get out of the vehicle and cross the barrier to seek assistance from a toll collector.
Cash customers who mistakenly enter the E-ZPass highway speed lanes must pay the toll and can do so by calling Maine E-ZPass Customer Service at 1-888-MTA-PASS (682-7277), by visiting the MaineTurnpike headquarters off of Exit 46 (Jetport) or by mailing the toll payment. More information on mailing toll payments can be found at MaineTurnpike.com
A series of preparations still need to be carried out before the new toll facility is ready for operation. The remaining work includes continued testing of the highway speed E-ZPass system, signage installation and highway striping.
Construction work on the E-ZPass highway speed toll plaza began in the spring of 2012. The project involved removing four interior toll lanes and constructing one E-ZPass only highway speed toll lane in each direction. The work also included replacement of the plaza’s E-ZPass system, earthwork, pavement repair and overhead sign installation.
The public can open a Maine E-ZPass account and learn more about the new E-ZPass highway speed toll plaza along with other Maine Turnpike projects by visiting MaineTurnpike.com.