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New Open Road Tolling Plaza in York Opening on September 15th

Maine Turnpike Authority Logo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2021
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

New Open Road Tolling Plaza in York Opening on September 15th

Motorists urged to be aware of traffic pattern shifts as the old plaza is removed

Drivers traveling to and through the new southernmost toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike need to be aware of a series of traffic lane pattern changes that will occur once the new toll plaza at Mile 8.8 goes online the morning of September 15.

At 12:01 AM on Wednesday, Maine Turnpike Authority will throw the switch to activate the new, high-tech toll plaza at Mile 8.8 in York. That action will be in synch with deactivating the former York toll plaza a mile and a half south where construction crews will begin dismantling the historic 52-year-old southern gateway to Maine.

At the older York toll plaza, at Mile 7.3, the initial demolition will begin with the toll plaza canopy, removing it in three steps. During this time, lane pattern changes will allow the contractor, Sargent, to remove the entire structure sequentially and safely. During this process, drivers will have to navigate their way through the now dormant tollbooth lanes, and obey a 10-mile-per-hour speed limit to ensure that vehicles can travel through the passageways smoothly.

The speed limit between the old and new toll plazas is also reduced to 55 mph, and wide-loads will be prohibited from September 15 through October1.

The three traffic lane arrangements are:


Southbound traffic will be diverted through the five center tollbooth lanes. Northbound traffic stays to the right driving through the four former tollbooth lanes. DO NOT STOP. All vehicles will then continue on to the new toll plaza 1.5 miles ahead.


Northbound traffic and vehicles entering the highway via the Spur Road on-ramp will be diverted through the center tollbooth lanes. Southbound traffic stays to the right driving through the five former tollbooth lanes. DO NOT STOP.


Canopy removal moves to the center lanes. Southbound traffic stays to the right through five outside tollbooth lanes. Northbound traffic stays to the right through four outside tollbooth lanes. DO NOT STOP.

Drivers approaching the old plaza should keep within the orange construction barrels marking the travel lanes and be particularly aware of other vehicles, especially when approaching narrow tollbooth lanes. 

Each step will allow workers to safely isolate construction areas and remove the canopy roof above the old tollbooth lanes section by section without interrupting the flow of traffic in either direction.

In Step Three, with traffic now confined to the outside lanes, contractors will remove the center canopy and establish a secure work area in which all of the former toll plaza structures will be cleared away and six new highway lanes will be constructed.

Once those six highway lanes are completed, this configuration will be in place throughout the winter months, and drivers will proceed north and south through this new section at a reduced speed of 55 miles per hour, as workers remove the remaining outside tollbooths.

“We’ve worked side-by-side with our highway engineering team to create a safe and logical sequence of lane changes and deconstruction steps to minimize the inconvenience to turnpike travelers and maximize their safety,” said Erin Courtney, Public Outreach Manager for the Maine Turnpike Authority. “We’re asking all drivers to help us achieve that by driving cautiously and obeying reduced speed limits in this construction zone.”

The toll plaza demolition project, estimated at $12.2 million, was awarded to

Sargent Corporation of Stillwater, Maine in July of this year. It is scheduled to be completed in October of 2022.

According to Peter Mills, the Turnpike’s Executive Director, the split-second hand off of responsibility from the former toll plaza to the new facility reflects the technological leap the Maine Turnpike takes with the launch of York’s new toll plaza. “Creating a toll plaza that combines the congestion moderating benefits of six highway-speed tolling lanes and the personal touch of having 24-hour toll booth staff within what was chosen as a safer location in terms of visibility for drivers approaching the plaza, we have a state-of-the-art, safer, and more efficient transportation facility that all of Maine can be proud of,” said Mills. “It’s another, very exciting milestone in the history of the Turnpike.”

The cruise-through, open-road-tolling lanes at the newly built York Toll Plaza bring the number of such facilities on the Maine Turnpike to five with a sixth scheduled to open in West Gardiner later this fall.