Work on phase one of the Piscataqua River Bridge project between Portsmouth and Kittery is done two months ahead of schedule.

Road striping this week will be the first phase's final part of the project that started in May 2019 that will extend the life of the bridge, which opened in 1972, another 50 years.

The Maine Department of Transportation credited lower traffic volume during the pandemic for allowing a faster work schedule. Lower traffic volume was a major factor in what the Maine Turnpike calls a "toll adjustment" that increased tolls and decreased discounts.

Completion of the first phase of the $61.8 million project sets the stage for the shoulder of Route 95 to be used as a travel lane during peak travel hours in both directions. The second phase is scheduled to be done by April 2023.

Red line indicates section of Route 95 where shoulder use during peak travel hours will be allowed
Red line indicates section of Route 95 where shoulder use during peak travel hours will be allowed (Maine DOT)
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The bridge project and the elimination of the York toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike are part of the "Maine Ahead: Building a Better Gateway" project. It's a collaboration involving the Maine DOT, Maine Turnpike Authority, and New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

The York toll plaza part of the project was completed in September.

New toll plaza in York on the Maine Turnpike
New toll plaza in York on the Maine Turnpike (Maine Turnpike)
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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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