Interstate 495 Maine

Interstate 495 Maine
History
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 495 overlays the Falmouth Spur, the Maine Turnpike connector between the mainline (I-95) and I-295. The toll road formerly carried I-95 away from the Maine Turnpike to its free route north to Brunswick and Gardiner. There are no exits between the two Interstates, but the east end of the Falmouth Spur does provide access to U.S. 1 in the town of Falmouth.

History

The Falmouth Spur opened as part of the Maine Turnpike in 1955. It was incorporated as part of the Interstate 95 alignment around Portland in 1956.3 The Maine Turnpike main line north from the west end of the spur to Auburn, Lewiston and West Gardiner was unnumbered.

With Congress passing a law in 1987 that raised the national speed limit from 55 to 65 miles per hour, the state of Maine sought to include all of the Maine Turnpike into the Interstate system. Since the increased speed limit was allowed only on rural Interstate highways, the turnpike outside of I-95 was not applicable. Approved by AASHTO on December 4, 1987, Interstate 495 was established along 50.47 miles of the toll road from Portland to West Gardiner.

Changes for the Maine Interstate system were submitted by Maine to AASHTO, and approved on October 11, 2002. They outlined relocating Interstate 95 westward from the Falmouth Spur and the freeway north from to Brunswick and West Gardiner wholly onto the Maine Turnpike, over what was previously Interstate 495. Interstate 295 was extended northward over former I-95 from Yarmouth to Gardiner. Interstate 495 was then legislatively reapplied to the Falmouth Spur between I-95 and I-295. I-495 was not signed because Maine considered the Falmouth Spur to be just a “ramp”. Sign changes were implemented on January 5, 2004 and completed on January 10th.1

The relocation of Interstate 495 also coincided with a statewide renumbering of all Maine Interstate exits from a sequential-based system to a mile based system. Completed by May 15, 2004, Maine was the first New England state to adopt the national standard.2

Route Information

  • East End – Falmouth, ME
  • West End – Portland, ME

  • Mileage – 4.39 westbound/ 4.28 eastbound

  • Cities – Portland

  • JunctionsI-95 Maine Tpk I-295

Source: MaineDOT Map Viewer

The December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List still references the pre-2004 mileage of 50.47.

I-95/295/495 Maine Redesignation Sign
This sign was erected along Interstate 95 (Maine Turnpike) northbound beyond the New Hampshire state line to advise motorists of the redesignation of I-95, I-295, and I-495 and the exit renumbering of the Maine Interstate system. The last signed referenced for I-495 in Maine here was removed by Summer 2007. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (08/31/04).
US 1 north at Falmouth Spur
U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) north at the westbound on-ramp for the Falmouth Spur, when it was still a part of the Interstate 95 mainline. An I-495 trailblazer referenced the Maine Turnpike north from Portland to Lewiston. Photo by Jeff Royston (12/02).

Highway Guides

East End I-295 Maine Tpk US 1 – Falmouth, Maine

I-495 Maine Tpk East at I-295 US 1

I-495/Maine Tpk east at I-295/US 1 - Falmouth

The east end of unsigned I-495 has a loop ramp for I-295 north to Freeport, Brunswick and Bath and a trumpet interchange with adjacent U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) north to Yarmouth and south to Portland. There is no direct access to I-295 south. Instead motorists are directed onto U.S. 1 south and Bucknam Road west to make the connection. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

US 1 North

US 1 north at Bucknam Rd - Falmouth, ME

Bucknam Road west links U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) with parallel Interstate 295, just south of the partial interchange with the Falmouth Spur. Bucknam Road and U.S. 1 provide the missing movements between the two Interstates. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

US 1 north at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) north at the trumpet interchange with Interstate 495 (Falmouth Spur) west. There are no westbound exits between here and I-95 (Maine Turnpike). Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

US 1 South at I-495 Maine Tpk

US 1 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Trailblazers for Interstate 95 and the Maine Turnpike take the place of a shield for I-495 west at the entrance ramp from U.S. 1 south. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

I-295 North at I-495 Maine Tpk

I-295 north at Bucknam Rd - Falmouth, ME

With no direct access between I-295 north and the Falmouth Spur west, a Breezewood style connection requires motorists to use Bucknam Road and U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) north to access unsigned Interstate 495. 06/27/05

I-295 north at Bucknam Rd - Falmouth, ME

Entering the folded diamond interchange (Exit 10) with Bucknam Road on Interstate 295 north. Bucknam Road links the freeway with Route 9 (Middle Road) to the west and U.S. 1 to the east. I-295 next passes under the Falmouth Spur, with only a northbound entrance ramp and southbound off-ramp joining the two. 06/27/05

I-295 South at I-495 Maine Tpk

I-295 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Heading south into the town of Falmouth, Interstate 295 runs between Chenery Brook and U.S. 1 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) to forthcoming Exit 11 with the Falmouth Spur. 06/27/05

I-295 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Points South, N.H.-Mass. are used in place of Kittery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Boston for the Maine Turnpike control points on Interstate 295 south. 06/28/05

I-295 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Exit 11 parts ways with Interstate 295 south in one mile for unsigned I-495 (Falmouth Spur) west. I-495 and I-95 provide a bypass around Portland while I-295 continues 6.3 miles south to Downtown. 06/27/05

I-295 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Because there are no off-ramps between I-295 and the Maine Turnpike main line, signs for the Falmouth Spur omit Interstate 495. A similar setup is the tolled Selmon Connector in Tampa, Florida which is unnumbered because it links Interstate 4 and SR 618 without any local exits. 06/27/05

I-295 south at I-495/Maine Tpk - Falmouth

Travelers taking I-495 west to Interstate 95 south will reach Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 59 miles. The succeeding exit along I-295 south departs in one half mile for Bucknam Road and the town of Falmouth. 06/27/05

West End I-95 Maine Tpk – Portland, Maine

I-495 Maine Tpk West at I-95 Maine Tpk

I-495/Maine Tpk west at I-95 - Falmouth

A toll plaza collects fares for both directions of traffic along the Falmouth Spur midway between Interstate 295 and the Presumpscot River. Heading west from the toll collection point, a pair of signs direct motorists into the appropriate lane for Interstate 95 north to Augusta and south to Portland and Kittery. 06/27/05

I-495/Maine Tpk west at I-95 - Falmouth

Older signs for the Maine Turnpike referencing I-495 were amended to show I-95, but with three-digit shields to conceal the former designation. 06/27/05

I-495/Maine Tpk west at I-95 - Falmouth

Unsigned I-495 west concludes at a trumpet interchange. Interstate 95 southbound travels seven miles to South Portland and 56 miles to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Leading away from the Portland area, the Maine Turnpike north continues 25 miles to Auburn and 30 miles to Lewiston. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

I-95 Maine Tpk South at I-495 Maine Tpk

I-95/Maine Tpk south at I-495 - Falmouth

Signs for the Falmouth Spur from Interstate 95 simply reference the connections with I-295 and U.S. 1. When Interstate 495 ended here from the north, it simply transitioned to I-95 south. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

I-95 Maine Tpk Nortth at I-495 Maine Tpk

I-95/Maine Tpk north at I-495 - Portland

Exit 52 departs from Interstate 95 (Maine Turnpike) north for the Falmouth Spur (unsigned I-495). Interstate 495 arcs east across the Presumpscot into the town of Falmouth, connecting the turnpike with I-295 north to Freeport and U.S. 1 north to Yarmouth. Photo by Sheila Schumacher (05/20/04).

I-495 Historic South End

I-95/Maine Tpk north at I-495 - 2002

Approaching the former split of Interstate 95 north from the Maine Turnpike main line (I-495) onto the Falmouth Spur east. Photo by Gary S. Peterson (02/14/02).

I-495/Maine Tpk north of I-95 - 2002

What was the first northbound confirming marker for Interstate 495 on the Maine Turnpike main line. Photo by Gary S. Peterson (02/14/02).

Sources:

  1. Interstate I-95 Redesignation & Re-numbering Information http://www.state.me.us/mdot/maines-transportation-systems/I-95-redesignation.php, Maine Department of Transportation.
  2. “Highway switcheroo slated for I-95, I-495 and I-295.” The Times Record News, December 24, 2003.
  3. Maine’s Interstate System: An Investment in Safety, Mobility, and Prosperity http://www.state.me.us/mdot/interstate/index.php, Maine Department of Transportation

Page updated May 7, 2020.