Interstate 295 Maine
Interstate 295 constitutes both an urban loop east from the Maine Turnpike through South Portland and Portland, and a through route connecting I-95 with Brunswick and U.S. 1 leading east to Down East Maine. Prior to January 5, 2004, I-295 consisted of just a 10.90 mile route through Portland, ending at the Maine Turnpike Falmouth Spur, which carried Interstate 95 east to its toll free section leading north to Gardiner. The state of Maine initiated a statewide renumbering of I-95, I-295 and I-495 in an effort to reduce motorist confusion.
Interstate 95 was relocated westward from Falmouth to Gardiner to remain wholly along the Maine Turnpike to Gray and Lewiston. This replaced the previous designation of Interstate 495, which was reassigned as an unmarked route along the four mile long Falmouth Spur connecting the north end of I-295 with the Maine Turnpike mainline north of Portland. Interstate 295 in turn was extended 41 miles north over the former free portion of I-95 to Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick. Resigning was completed in January 10, 2004.1
The freeway loop through Portland was designated as Route B-95 by the Maine State Highway Commission on a map sent to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on March 24, 1958. Designated I-295, the loop was part of the urban Interstate numerology approved by AASHO on November 10, 1958.
The original construction time line for Interstate 295, per the former MaineDOT “Maine’s Interstate turns 50! web page:2
- 1960 – Tukey’s Bridge completed (bridge was named for Lemuel Tukey, a tavern owner and toll collector for the Back Cove Bridge in the late 18th Century)
- 1961 – section from Falmouth Spur to Yarmouth opens
- 1971 – additional urban sections open through Portland
- 1973 – Interstate 295 through Brunswick and Topsham opens
- 1974 – Section from Scarborough to South Portland opens
- 1977 – Section from Topsham to Gardiner opens
Source: MaineDOT Map Viewer
The December 31, 2020 FHWA Interstate Route Log and Finders List still references the pre-2004 mileage of 10.90.
Signed by the Governor on March 27, 2002, the Maine Legislature passed a bill redesignating parts of the Interstate system and renumbering all of the exit numbers from a sequential to a mileage based system. The intent of the redesignation was to:
- designate the entire length of the Maine Turnpike as I-95 which will provide a continuous routed Interstate which reduces confusion for motorists
- lengthen the existing 1-295 through greater Portland so that it runs all the way to Gardiner where it reconnects with I-95
- eliminate the 1-495 designation
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the route numbering applications to redesignate I-495 along the Maine Turnpike as Interstate 95 and extend Interstate 295 north over former I-95 to Gardiner on October 11, 2002. Prior discussion between AASHTO, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding the unnumbered Falmouth Spur resulted in an amendment made to the application designating it as Interstate 495.
A $12.2 million project from June to December 2010 repaved all of the southbound lanes for Interstate 295 from the Maine Turnpike spur in Falmouth south to the toll plaza at Scarborough. The project also included resurfacing 18 bridges and repairing them as needed and making safety improvements around the Franklin Street interchange (Exit 7). A coinciding $8.4 million project rebuilt the northbound lanes from the south Falmouth town line to Freeport. That work was completed by the end of October 2010.3
North End – West Gardiner, Maine
Interstate 295 north defaults onto I-95 (Maine Turnpike) beyond the diamond interchange with Route 9/126 (Lewiston Road). Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/13/04).
Interstate 95 follows the Maine Turnpike south from U.S. 202/Route 11-17-100 (Exit 109) in Augusta. The toll road begins ahead of the split with Interstate 295 (Exit 103) near Gardiner. 06/28/05
Interstate 295 south provides local access to Route 9/126 (Lewiston Road) south at West Gardiner. An off-ramp previously linked the Maine Turnpike with the state routes directly as part of a full trumpet interchange (old Exit 14) just beyond the partition with I-295 at Exit 103. 06/28/05
Historic Northern Terminus – Maine Turnpike Falmouth Spur – Falmouth, Maine
Interstate 295 ended at the Falmouth Spur (unsigned I-495), a four-mile connector west to the Maine Turnpike (I-95) mainline, until 2004. An end sign for I-295 stood at the exchange with then I-95 prior to the 2004 renumbering. I-295 overtook I-95 north from here 41 miles to Gardiner. Photo by Jeff Royston (12/02).
South End – Scarborough, Maine
An end shield for I-295 south precedes the Maine Turnpike toll plaza beyond Exit 1 with the Interstate 95 Connector. Traffic defaults onto I-95 southbound ahead of the interchange with Haigais Parkway and Payne Road. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (08/31/04).
Interstate 95 lowers to cross the Nonesuch River one mile from Exit 44 with I-295 north. 06/27/05
Back to back off-ramps depart over the ensuing one mile of Interstate 95 north for I-295 north and Route 703, a two mile freeway connector east to U.S. 1/Route 9 (Main Street). Route 703 joins the Maine Turnpike with a retail area anchored by The Maine Mall, I-295 north and the Scarborough Connector (Route 701). 06/27/05
South at Scarborough Connector
- Interstate I-95 Redesignation & Re-numbering Information
http://www.state.me.us/mdot/maines-transportation-systems/I-95-redesignation.php, Maine Department of Transportation.
- Maine’s Interstate System: An Investment in Safety, Mobility, and Prosperity
http://www.state.me.us/mdot/interstate/index.php,Maine Department of Transportation
- “DOT to start repairing I-295 in Portland area – Most commuters won’t be slowed down by the work, an official says.” Portland Press Herald (ME), June 15, 2010.
Page updated May 29, 2022.