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[RoadsAroundME main page] Interstate 95 (Maine)
[Route marker portrait.]
<< Maine State Route 94 All Points in Maine Maine State Route 95 >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Termini (in-state)
Northbound alignment: End of I 95 NB, Kittery to End of I 95 NB, Houlton
Southbound alignment: End of I 95 SB, Houlton to End of I 95 SB, Kittery
Mileage (in-state)
Northbound alignment: 303.2 miles (total over all segments)
Southbound alignment: 302.52 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

National termini
Miami, FL to Houlton, ME
Mileage (nationwide): 1,919 miles

History as US Highway
Original I-95, now I-295, through Freeport was previously constructed as a US 1 bypass alignment; see US 1.

At least one official MDOT map seems to imply Interstate 95 was briefly signed on the US 1 freeway in Brunswick-Bath in 1965, but all sources show the modern I-95 routing by 1967.

US 1BYP in Kittery was signed as I-95 in Maine until 1972-3.

History as Interstate
See text for the historical numbering of the modern route's components.

Notes and History

Interstate 95 is Maine's proudest public works achievement, today the state's primary arterial for virtually all centres south of Houlton, though US 1 remains an important regional highway as well. Today it is also the inheritor of the Maine Turnpike, Maine's central toll road, so the two will be discussed mostly interchangeably (although this was not the case for many years).

In 1941, the Maine State Legislature looked at emulating the success toll roads had had in other states as a way of facilitating enhanced transportation through the south's population centres that could pay for itself. To this end, the Legislature established the Maine Turnpike Authority and immediately started to plan the new highway's route. Uniquely founded on the concept of "revenue bonding," the Turnpike Authority received no state or federal tax dollars (as remains true today) and backed all of its debts solely with toll receipts as collateral. Originally the idea was to run the proposed Turnpike from Kittery all the way to Fort Kent, but when World War II broke out, the idea was scuttled and it was not until 1946 when an initial bond of $20 million was issued to begin construction on the first 45 mile section.

The Turnpike's genesis was especially hampered by the state's unique environmental challenges. In particular, Maine's infamously nasty winter season is murderous on roads, and any tolled highway would need to survive such harsh conditions or be permanently mired in construction (which would then sap revenues as well as make it unattractive to drivers). Engineers underlaid the specially mixed pavement with a layer of porous gravel to resist freezing, but still facilitate drainage; incorporated a wide 26' median with an ample right shoulder for breakdown and detour traffic; and then designed the route for up to a 60mph design speed with two lanes per carriageway. Eventually, this was built from what was then US 1 in Kittery (present-day I-95 exit 2, near the modern US 1 and US 1BYP fork) to near the modern-day Congress St exit. To improve access from the south, the future US 1BYP was upgraded for the expected volume coming from New Hampshire and fed directly into the Turnpike.

This first stage of the Turnpike opened 13 December 1947, but only barely broke even as most local traffic still continued to use the free regional highways or make only short hops on the Turnpike, which hurt receipts. (Back then there were only interchanges at Wells, Biddeford and Saco, with toll plazas at all three plus the pike's end at South Portland; the cost was 50 cents.) To counter this, the Turnpike Authority raised the rate to 60 cents for the entire length, and coupled with a rise in long-distance traffic from tourism, the Turnpike became successful enough for New Hampshire to build one of their own which further enhanced the Turnpike's revenues with a high speed link from the south when the New Hampshire Turnpike opened in 1950 (via the Portsmouth traffic circle).

With the increase in tourism, a proposal to extend the Turnpike further was inevitable and construction to Augusta was funded by bond measures in 1952. Delayed by inclement weather and two hurricanes, the Portland-Augusta leg was finally completed and opened 13 December 1955 at a cost of $78.6 million, along with a link to US 1 in Falmouth which is today's Falmouth Spur (see I-495).

Upon the enactment of the Eisenhower Interstate system in 1956, Interstate 95 came into existence in the state for the first time as construction on Maine's growing freeway system continued at full throttle; to emphasize this important linkage into the new national freeway system, US 1BYP in Kittery was shortly afterwards given an Interstate 95 shield along with all of the Turnpike from there to Portland. As originally designated at that time, the Portland-Augusta leg then continued on from Portland to Augusta simply as the Turnpike, with I-95 branching over the Falmouth Spur to the continuation of what was then I-95 from Freeport to Brunswick (incorporating the former US 1 Freeport bypass), now I-295, upon its opening in 1957. After that, the Interstate 95 project was constructed in several discontinuous pieces starting in the 1950s and gradually opened during the 1960s: in Bangor from Hammond St to Hogan Rd (opened 1960), Augusta to Fairfield at US 201 (opened 1960 -- winning an award from Parade magazine in 1961 as America's most scenic highway, receiving an honourable mention for the same section again in 1965), Bangor to Orono (1961), Falmouth Spur to Yarmouth (1961), Newport to Bangor at I-395 (1963), Fairfield to Newport (1964) and Orono to Howland (1965). The portion through the Argyle Bog north of Bangor was a particularly hazardous section to build due to unexploded leftover ordnance from the former US Army training area in the region during both World Wars, requiring thorough probing to avoid damage to the equipment, the road and the people building it. At least one official MDOT map seems to imply Interstate 95 was briefly signed over the US 1 freeway in Brunswick in 1965, but all sources show the modern I-95 routing by 1967 to Augusta via Topsham and Gardiner instead and the alignment remains US 1 today (see US 1 for the history of this alignment; this leaves US 1 arguably the only non-Interstate freeway in the state). Construction continued from Howland to Medway (initially opened as one-lane-per-direction in 1966 and upgraded to two-lane-per-direction with new southbound lanes opened in 1976 in two phases [Howland-Lincoln and Lincoln-Medway]), then Oakfield to Houlton (also opened as one-lane-per-direction in 1966, upgraded to two-lane-per-direction with new southbound lanes from Smyrna to Houlton [1977] and finally Oakfield to Smyrna [1981]), Medway to Oakfield (also opened as one-lane-per-direction in 1967, upgraded to two-lane-per-direction with new southbound lanes opened in 1976 in two phases [Sherman-Island Falls and Island Falls-Oakfield] and then finally from Medway to Sherman [1979]), Brunswick to Topsham (opened 1973), and Topsham to Gardiner (1977).

US 1BYP finally ceased to be I-95 and returned to its original form as "just" US 1BYP in 1972 after the Piscataqua River bridge was opened 2 November 1972 and connected in 1973, the current I-95 crossing between New Hampshire and Maine. The initial planning and design phase for the Piscataqua River Bridge was cooperatively considered by both states in the 1960s under then-Maine State Highway Commissioner David H. Stevens and then-New Hampshire Commissioner John O. Morton. The 1967 agreement struck by the states gave the Maine State Highway Commission the role of contracting agent and bids were taken in 1968 to construct the massive triple steel span with a present operating rating of 54 metric tonnes, a length of 4,000' (1219m) and a vertical clearance of 135' (41m). After its opening, the bridge won both civic and critical recognition, receiving an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction for its design in 1973. The most expensive bridge ever built in the region at the time of its construction, it cost $21 million (adjusted for inflation, that would be roughly $96 million today).

During the 1970s, the MTA pursued an aggressive strategy of widening the Turnpike, particularly in the more congested southern sections. This immediately ran it afoul of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, which ultimately successfully argued through the state Supreme Court in 1975 that the MTA had exceeded its mandate by obtaining project contracts for the widenings without environmental review. However, the Court did allow construction to proceed on the already released contracts, and an initial expansion to three-lanes-per-direction was constructed up to mile 12 with upgrades to the York toll plaza. In the meantime, the Turnpike eventually paid off its original bond issues in 1982, along with repayments to the federal government under the Federal-Aid Highway Act with an additional $7.5 million bond, and toll revenues over and above maintenance and operating costs were designated by the Legislature to enter a fund for improvement of existing interchanges and access roads. By 1986, the last major pieces needed to convert Interstate 95 to full Interstate standards had been finished, including new northbound lanes between Yarmouth and Freeport which were still being carried on the old US 1 alignment, and the elimination of the final at-grade intersection. Nevertheless, further upgrades were greatly constrained despite a 1986 traffic study recommending widening all the way to South Portland and I-295 due to fierce environmental opposition, resulting in a voter referendum to stop the widening in 1991. It was not until 1997 that an affirmative proposal on the widening project was presented to voters, but by now traffic volumes on the Turnpike were so high (an estimated 45 million vehicles/year) that commuter concerns finally won out. Construction began on the new widening project in March 2000 along with expansion of bridges and shoulders and adjustments to the roadbed for visibility and level terrain. (A novel anecdote was the preservation of the Hatch-Mitchell Cemetery in Kennebunk, which after the widening was just a few yards from the new roadway. Guardrail was put up, the headstones were repaired and weather-treated, and the railings were upgraded. During the winter, to protect the plot from snowplows, a chainlink fence is annually put up and taken down during the summer. The MTA reminds you not to stop on the Turnpike to look at it.) This was ultimately completed in October 2004, including a safety upgrade to the ME 111 interchange in Biddeford.

Parallel with the 2000-4 widening was an additional interchange upgrade project based on an administrative arrangement established with MDOT in 1990 to implement some of the other recommendations of the original 1986 traffic study. As part of this upgrade plan, the Congress St/Jetport Interchange was constructed and opened in 1999, as well as the Westbrook/Rand Road Interchange (see ME 25) in 2002 and the ME 9/Sabattus interchange in 2004.

Originally from I-95's diversion down the Falmouth Spur, the Turnpike continued north from there as an unnumbered highway. This persisted for decades until 1988, when MDOT petitioned for and received permission to sign that section of the Turnpike as Interstate 495 between what was then exits 9 and 14. However, this was considered suboptimal as it split the Turnpike into two separate route numbers and was confusing to outside motorists (and, although it was never said officially, probably robbed the Turnpike Authority of extra dollars that were going along the free routing of I-95 [now I-295] instead). In 2000, MDOT and the Turnpike Authority presented the Legislature with a plan on how this numbering discontinuity could be rectified and fix the snarl with exit numbering at the same time, which was not only sequential instead of distance-based, but also reset at York where the Turnpike began. This process was approved by AASHTO in 2002 and publicly unveiled in 2004, putting I-95 over the entire Turnpike, freeing up the Falmouth Spur which became a new unsigned I-495 (although the original proposal suggested eliminating the designation entirely), and adding the free section of old I-95 between the Spur and south of Augusta to I-295. At the same time, all the exit numbers over the entire length of all the state's Interstate highways were corrected to new distance-based exit numbers (leaving small yellow signs with the old number). Although a drastic change, it was completed in rapid order to avoid unnecessary and crippling parallelism and as a result quickly yielded a much more coherent exit and route numbering system for both locals and visitors to the state.

Since the 2000-4 upgrades, the Maine Turnpike has continued to grow and modernize. In 2004, the Turnpike became part of the E-ZPass system, making it possible, as the MTA puts it, for a single car to "be able to move between West Virginia and Maine on one Electronic Toll Collection system." Today (as of 2006), the Turnpike and I-95 serve an estimated 63,100,000 cars annually, and the MTA is pursuing various additional upgrade projects including new service plazas at Kennebunk, Cumberland, Gray and West Gardiner. As part of its ten-year plan (warning: large .pdf), the MTA is also planning to expand the Turnpike/I-95 to three-lanes-per-direction up to at least the Falmouth Spur/I-495 and possibly as far as ME 26/ME 100 at exit 53; relocate the York toll plaza for enhanced visibility; safety upgrades such as improving clear zones, flattening sideslopes, upgrading fences and guardrails, and modifying roadside drainage ditches; pavement, culvert, bridge and slope repairs; upgrade ramps at South Portland (US 1), I-495, Gray (US 202), Auburn (US 202) and Lewiston (ME 196), and do various bridge repairs and expansions, such as the Congress St project scheduled to complete Q3 2007. There is consideration on extending Interstate 95 into Aroostock and points north to serve the region currently only served by US 1, and to a lesser extent ME 11, in the manner that the original plans for the Turnpike were to do. Strongly supported by community boosters, this project is still within environmental study considerations and no clear corridor has been selected. However, it would greatly improve high-speed access to northern Maine, an area that is currently greatly neglected by the present routing.

The Maine Turnpike is designated the Gold Star Memorial Highway, a parallel designation to the Blue Star Memorial Highway along US 1 (see US 1). Instead of the World War II memorial represented by the Blue Star, the Gold Star memorializes World War I based on President Woodrow Wilson's approval of the gold star on a black band for each member of the family who had died in service. The Gold Star Memorial Highway designation was first dedicated in 1965.

For its unique engineering challenges and efficient design within the limits of natural, environmental and cultural constraints, the Maine Turnpike was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Dedicated in 1999, a commemorative plaque stands at Maine Turnpike Authority Headquarters at 430 Riverside St in Portland, with another in South Portland just south of the Running Hill Rd overpass.

There are no business alignments of I-95 in Maine, as US 1 and US 2 have historically maintained that function.

See also ME 95SH (Maine State Route 95), Interstate 195, Interstate 295, Interstate 395, Interstate 495, and ME 703 (Secret State Route 703).


Exit List

Due to the change in exit numbers, both new and old are listed. Exit descriptions are designed to be informational only and may not match signage. Cities and towns listed refer to the physical location of the exit, not any control city. For former exits 15-28, see I-295 and I-495; there are no former exits 18 and 23 (18: former at-grade intersection for Old County Rd, likely not a formal designation and removed during 1986 upgrade; 23: never known to be signed, possibly reserved for River Rd in Brunswick?).

Despite the official routing length being around 303 miles, the last distance exit number is 305.

  • 1 (1). TO ME 103, Dennett Rd, Kittery (NB only)
  • 2 (2). US 1/US 1BYP/ME 236, Kittery
  • 3 (3). US 1, Kittery (NB only)


  • 7 (4/Turnpike 1). US 1, York
  • 19 (Turnpike 2). ME 9/ME 109, Wells
  • 25 (Turnpike 3). ME 35, Kennebunk
  • 32 (Turnpike 4). ME 111, Biddeford
  • 36 (Turnpike 5). Interstate 195, Saco
  • 42 (Turnpike 6). TO US 1, Payne Rd, Scarborough (actually Payne Rd and Haigis Pkwy)
  • 44 (Turnpike 6A). Interstate 295, Scarborough
  • 45 (Turnpike 7). TO US 1, TO ME 114, Maine Mall Rd, South Portland
  • 46 (Turnpike 7A). TO ME 9, TO ME 22, Congress St/Jetport Rd, Portland (Portland International Jetport)
  • 47 (Turnpike 7B). ME 25, Rand Rd/Westbrook Arterial, Portland
  • 48 (Turnpike 8). TO US 302, TO ME 25, Larrabee Rd, Portland
  • 52 (Turnpike 9). Interstate 495/Falmouth Spur
  • 53 (Turnpike 10). ME 26/ME 100, Falmouth
  • 63 (Turnpike 11). TO ME 26 (actually ME 26A), US 202/ME 4/ME 115, Gray
  • 75 (Turnpike 12). US 202/ME 4/ME 100/Washington St, Auburn
  • 80 (Turnpike 13). ME 196/Lisbon St, Lewiston
  • 86. ME 9, Sabattus -- This exit was added after the 2004 renumbering and has no old exit number
  • 102 (Turnpike 14A). ME 9/ME 126 to Interstate 295, West Gardiner (NB only)
  • 103 (Turnpike 14B). Interstate 295, West Gardiner (SB only)


  • 109 (30). US 202/ME 11/ME 17/ME 100/Western Ave, Augusta
  • 112 (31). ME 8/ME 11/ME 17/Civic Center Dr, Augusta
  • 113. ME 3, Augusta -- This exit was added after the 2004 renumbering and has no old exit number
  • 120 (32). Lyons Rd, Sidney
  • 127 (33). ME 11/ME 137/Kennedy Memorial Dr, Waterville
  • 130 (34). ME 104/Main St, Waterville
  • 132 (35). ME 139/Western Ave, Fairfield
  • 133 (36). US 201/Main St, Fairfield
  • 138 (37). Hinckley Rd, Clinton
  • 150 (38). Somerset Ave, Pittsfield
  • 157 (39). ME 11/ME 100 (to US 2), Newport-Palmyra
  • 159 (40). Ridge Rd, Newport (SB only)
  • 161 (41). ME 7, Plymouth
  • 167 (42). ME 69/ME 143, Etna
  • 174 (43). ME 69, Carmel
  • 180 (44). Cold Brook Rd, Hermon-Hampden
  • 182 (45). I-395/ME 15/US 2/ME 100 (Odlin Rd), Bangor
  • 183 (46). US 2/Hammond St, Bangor
  • 184 (47). ME 222/Union St, Bangor (Bangor International Airport)
  • 185 (48). ME 15/Broadway, Bangor
  • 186 (48A). Stillwater Ave, Bangor-Veazie
  • 187 (49). Hogan Rd, Bangor-Veazie
  • 191 (50). Kelly Rd, Orono
  • 193 (51). Stillwater Ave, Orono-Old Town
  • 197 (52). ME 43/Hudson Rd, Old Town
  • 199 (53). ME 16, Old Town (NB only)
  • 217 (54). ME 6/ME 155, Howland
  • 227 (55). Lincoln Connector to US 2/ME 6/ME 116, Lincoln
  • 244 (56). ME 11/ME 157, Medway (Baxter State Park)
  • 259 (57). Casey Rd, Benedicta (NB only)
  • 264 (58). ME 11/ME 158, Sherman
  • 276 (59). ME 159, Island Falls
  • 286 (60). Smyrna Rd, Oakfield
  • 291 (61). US 2, Smyrna
  • 302 (62). US 1, Houlton
  • 305 (63). US 2 (end of US 2), Houlton

Archival Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Then the largest sign on any Maine highway, this was the original signage for the Falmouth Spur exit from the northbound Turnpike (Highway News 1/59); today, I-95 would be straight ahead and unsigned I-495 along the exit. Note the old-style number font on the I-95 shield.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Old signage for ME 8, ME 11 and ME 27 along I-95 in Augusta (Highway News 9/60). Note that on the older guide signs there is no white background fill for the state shields.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Part of the I-95 interchange for ME 11/ME 17/ME 100/US 202 along Western Avenue in Augusta (Highway News 9/60). This is just after exiting the Interstate on the approach road facing north.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Freeport expressway alignment, originally US 1, upgraded as part of the I-95 project (shown here), and now part of I-295 (Highway News 6/58).
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Waterville I-95 construction over the Messalonskee Stream, facing north (Highway News 11/59). This span is 1,025', a long span demanded by the unstable soil at the stream banks; ten miles of steel pilings were driven for support with some as deep as 100'.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Fairfield-Benton construction of I-95 on the Clinton Clauson Memorial Bridge over the Kennebec River (Highway News 6/64). This span is 1,000'.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Broadway/ME 15 and I-95 interchange construction in Bangor (Highway News 1/59). Compare this view with the more recent photograph also on this page. This span is 152'.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Portion of the Brunswick-Topsham I-95 alignment -- this view is over the Androscoggin River towards Topsham -- between US 1 in Brunswick and US 201 in Topsham under construction (Transportation News 10/73).
Additional Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Junction I-95 from SB ME 15, north Bangor. Note the "old sign style" which is now used on many newer signs.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Separation I-95 at ME 15, north Bangor. SB ME 15 proceeds with I-95 to I-395 on the south end of town. Note the use of neutered shields here instead. Compare this picture with the archival one on this page during this intersection's construction.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Warning sign for I-95/I-295/I-495 redesignation and exit renumbering at the south end of I-95, NB, before the Turnpike. This is the only I-495 shield remaining in Maine.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] I-95 Mile 20, showing the mini-shields for I-95 and the Turnpike.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Exit 46 to ME 9 and ME 22 in Portland along the Maine Turnpike/I-95, showing typical exit convention. Note use of kilometres. Many Turnpike exits only obliquely connect with their intended destinations due to toll plaza exit configurations.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] SB I-95 exit 182A/separation I-395 from SB I-95 with ME 15, towards US 1A and ME 9 in Hampden.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Advance signage for WB I-395 exit 3/US 1A/US 202/ME 9 and the end of I-395 at I-95. Note the use of the INTERSTATE MAINE 95 shield, and the signage "All Points North and South" which is ubiquitous for I-95 and also US 1. Exit 3 shows US 202, although it allegedly already ended.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] SB Interstate 95 with the newer "old style" signs, at Mile 182 south of Bangor.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Junction ME 3 and ME 104 near Augusta. This also shows the green signage specially created for the Maine Turnpike/I-95. This section is part of the new ME 3 2004 bypass.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Maine Gold Star Memorial Highway signage along I-95. These new signs date from a 2005 rededication; this is in Augusta.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Advance signage on SB I-95 for the SB I-295 split. ME 9 and ME 126 are the first southbound exit directly on I-295 into Gardiner/Randolph.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] An old-style directional banner to go with an old-style I-95 shield on the Turnpike.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Strange green-on-white "inversed" signage in Portland for the Maine Turnpike.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Although the majority of reassurance shields on the Turnpike use a single directional banner, green banners specifically for the Turnpike do appear.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Final southbound exit on Maine I-95, advance signage for US 1/US 1BYP (US 1 Bypass)/ME 236 to Kittery.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Last exit on I-95 into New Hampshire.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] SB I-95 leaving Maine to cross the Piscataqua River into New Hampshire.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] The Piscataqua River bridge (I-95) between Maine and New Hampshire, built 1972.

Additional Resources

<< Maine State Route 94 All Points in Maine Maine State Route 95 >>
Routing information is property of the Maine Department of Transportation, based on most current data available at time of this writing. No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied regarding this routing's suitability for travel or resemblance to fact. RoadsAroundME is not affiliated with, sponsored by or funded by the taxpayers of the state of Maine, or the Maine Department of Transportation.

All images, photographs and multimedia, unless otherwise stated, are copyright © 2005-2010 Cameron Kaiser. All rights reserved. All writeups are copyright © 2005-2010 Cameron Kaiser. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying or duplication without express consent of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited. Please contact the sitemaster to request permission if you wish to use items from this page.

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