Exit 103 Open Road Tolling and Bridge Reconstruction Project

West Gardiner, Maine

Award of Merit

Submitted By: WSP USA

Owner: Maine Turnpike Authority

Lead Design Firm: Stantec

Construction Manager: WSP USA

Open Road Tolling Contractor: Sargent Corp.

General Contractor-Bridge Reconstruction: Wyman & Simpson

Paving Subcontractor: Northeast Paving

One of the state’s busiest exits was upgraded to handle higher traffic volumes via a two-part project that combined structural rehabilitation of underpass bridges, ramp realignment, mainline reconstruction and replacement of an existing toll plaza with open-road tolling technology.

Overlap of separate project contracts could not be well defined in design and bid phases, so constant teamwide field communication would prove critical for contractors to carry out their respective critical path schedules and craft maintenance-of-traffic plans to minimize motorist inconvenience. Another challenge was constructing a new administration building with extensive communications systems, which had to be integrated into the sequencing plan.

With the project at the turnpike’s farthest end, virtual meetings kept owner reps involved, particularly through COVID-19. Fine-tuning the traffic plan cut the number of temporary widenings needed, with daily lane closures reducing costs and allowing continued access to the work area.

Exit traffic complicated equipment access and required creative measures for safety. The ends of an abandoned exit ramp overpass serving as the toll booth canopy were removed ahead of structural demolition so roadway widening could start sooner. A cable saw to cut through existing girders helped expedite demolition, allowing the fully upgraded interchange to complete ahead of target. The $36.8-million project finished at budget and on schedule.