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July 30, 2018

Construction set to begin on new $40M York toll plaza

Courtesy / Maine Turnpike Authority
Courtesy / Maine Turnpike Authority
An artist's rendering of the $40 million York toll plaza project that is slated to begin construction by this fall, following a Maine Superior Court ruling that upheld the project.

Construction of a new $40 million York toll plaza project is slated to begin by this fall.

Seacoastonline.com reported the project will begin when contractors begin to build an access road on Chases Pond Road property owned by the Maine Turnpike Authority. The project has been 12 years in the making and is expected to take three years to complete. Peter Merfeld, Maine Turnpike Authority chief operations officer told the online outlet that the price hasn't been reviewed for two years and could be a bit higher due to inflation.

According to information on the Maine Turnpike Authority website, the plaza is fully designed, funded and ready to break ground. The project has received all required permits from federal and state environmental agencies.

"The proposed state-of-the-art plaza will be safer, reduce air emissions, reduce noise, is located in a wooded area with few homes in the vicinity, and did not require taking of property by eminent domain," the turnpike authority stated. "In summary, the new plaza will have less local impact, and will be a huge improvement for millions of turnpike travelers and the entire state of Maine.

The project was delayed due to opposition from the Town of York.

But according to a July 6 turnpike authority news release, a Maine Superior Court ruling recently upheld the project, which is located about 1.5 miles north of the existing barrier plaza.

MTA received all required federal and state permits for its planned replacement plaza at Mile 8.8 last year. The new plaza will have three high speed E-ZPass center lanes in each direction and separated lanes to the right where travelers can safely pull over and pay cash at staffed booths.

But the Town of York sued the state last fall. At that time, Maine Turnpike Authority agreed to delay construction until conclusion of the Superior Court appeal.

The authority expects to advertise for bids this summer with construction to begin in the fall.

The project is 100% funded by turnpike users, with over two-thirds of toll revenue coming from out-of-state payers.

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