A video rendition of a proposed traffic pattern change at the intersection of Hogan Rd and I-95 in Bangor. Credit: Courtesy pf Maine Department of Transportation

A proposed overhaul of the interchange of I-95 with Hogan Road in Bangor introduced more than five years ago has been delayed, but the Maine Department of Transportation this week unveiled updated plans for what the new intersection would look like.

State transportation officials introduced their plans for a so-called diverging diamond interchange at the busy intersection that serves the Bangor Mall area in 2016. But the divergence plan has suffered a series of setbacks since then, said Paul Merrill, a Department of Transportation spokesperson.

The agency had to amend its plan several times after discovering that the bridge carrying the northern side of Hogan Road over I-95 needed to be replaced before construction could begin, delaying an expected 2019 completion date, project manager Rhobe Moulton said

The southern Hogan Road overpass will remain but will be raised to provide a 16.5-foot clearance for traffic traveling underneath on I-95, Moulton said. A new bridge will also be built farther south to maintain enough lanes to meet future capacity, she said.

Funding has also been a hurdle, Merrill said.

A diagram of the proposed diverging diamond interchange at I-95 and Hogan Road in Bangor. Credit: Maine Department of Transportation

“Right now, the project is only partially funded for construction and is contingent upon a successful future competitive grant application,” he said.

Construction will begin at the earliest in 2024 or 2025, depending on factors such as project bids and how long it will take to replace the bridge. The department currently estimates the project to cost $35 million, including engineering and construction costs, Merrill said.

The new interchange would eliminate left turns from I-95 off ramps that cross paths with traffic headed in conflicting directions, according to a video explaining the project.

The plan would add two crossover points where cars would need to stop at traffic lights before continuing east or west on Hogan Road. It would also prevent those drivers from being able to make last-minute turns onto highway on-ramps and off-ramps, limiting the potential for car crashes, according to the video.

The crossovers’ curvy approach would minimize speeding, the agency said in the video.

It would also reduce the likelihood of vehicular accidents, alleviate congestion from traffic turning onto the interstate and provide safe access for pedestrians and cyclists, Moulton said.  

Northbound and southbound cars would no longer have to wait at a traffic light when turning right onto the interstate from Hogan Road. The project would also add a protected walking and biking lane alongside that road.

The Exit 187 interchange, which was built in 1960, is Maine’s busiest diamond interchange, a type of road junction where a high-speed highway crosses a local road.

It handles an average 35,000 vehicles per day, or 12.7 million per year, and is considered a high-crash area, according to the project website. There were 12 crashes that resulted in three injuries between 2019 and 2021 at that intersection, according to state data.

The agency is accepting public comments on the latest plan through April 6 and plans to publish preliminary plans in the fall.

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.