In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo, motorists makes their way north on Interstate 295 in Portland. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A contractor is getting ready to replace a bridge through I-295 in Portland, but there shouldn’t be a prolonged closure of the key traffic artery.

The Maine Department of Transportation said the start of the nearly $21 million project involves a reconfiguration of the roadways beneath the Veranda Street bridge to improve mobility and safety.

Cianbro, the contractors, will build the replacement bridge alongside the existing bridge, then slide it into place.

Officials said the highway will be closed for fewer than three days. Cianbro hasn’t yet decided whether that closure will take place this fall or in the spring of 2022.