FAIRFIELD, Maine — A major construction project on Interstate 95 in central Maine is slated to begin Monday. Traffic will be reduced to one lane on both directions of the highway as crews prepare to rehabilitate the bridges that carry the freeway over the Kennebec River in Fairfield and Benton.

Over the next two years, crews will replace decks on both bridges, along with the Pan Am Railways bridge immediately west of the I-95 bridges. The projects involve removing the concrete bridge decks, repairing deteriorating structural steel and concrete, installing a new bridge deck and waterproof membrane, paving, and replacing existing curb and rail along the bridge.

The crews will build crossover lanes, which are expected to take a month to complete. Once that happens, traffic will be reduced to one lane northbound and southbound and diverted onto the southbound bridge while crews work on the northbound bridge. Work on that bridge is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012, and work on the southbound bridge will commence. Both bridges should be done in the fall of 2013.

Once the crossovers are in operation, the Exit 133 northbound on-ramp will be closed for safety reasons, and traffic will be redirected to the Exit 132 on-ramp. The Exit 133 on-ramp will remained closed until traffic is restored on both bridges.

The project is expected to cost $9.3 million.

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...