Falmouth Spur Article

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Interstate 495 marker

Interstate 495
Falmouth Spur
Unsigned I-495 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MTA
Length3.70 mi [3] (5.95 km)
HistoryEstablished November 5, 2002, by AASHTO [1]
Signed in January 2004 [2]
Major junctions
West end I‑95 / Maine Turnpike in Portland
East end I‑295 / US 1 in Falmouth
Highway system
I‑395 US 1

Interstate 495 (I-495) is the unsigned designation for the Falmouth Spur, a short freeway connecting I-95 with I-295 and U.S. Route 1 (US 1) north of Portland, Maine, in the United States. As part of the Maine Turnpike, the main line of which carries I-95, I-495 is a toll road. The spur has only two interchanges—one at each end—and a toll booth in the middle. It is signed only for its destinations—I-95, I-295 and US 1 [4]—to minimize driver confusion. [5]

Prior to January 2004, I-495 was a 50.47-mile-long (81.22 km) [6] section of the Maine Turnpike, running from the west end of the Falmouth Spur (which carried Interstate 95) north to the present junction with I-295 at Gardiner (south of Augusta). This was re-signed as I-95 in order to designate the whole turnpike as I-95 and thus reduce confusion. [7] Most of the former I-95 between Portland and Augusta became an extension of I-295, while the short Falmouth Spur was given the unsigned Interstate 495 designation.

Destinations on signs ( control cities) are the same as when it was part of I-95— Falmouth and Freeport for eastbound traffic from I-95, and Lewiston and Kittery (one for each direction of the turnpike) for westbound traffic from US 1. Signs on I-295 southbound point traffic for New Hampshire, Massachusetts and "points south" along I-495. [4]

MUTCD-compliant mile markers proceed easterly from the western end with the letters FS (for Falmouth Spur) horizontally on a line below the word MILE and range from 0 to 3.


The Falmouth Spur was built as part of the second phase— Portland to Augusta—of the Maine Turnpike, opened December 13, 1955, [8] as well to alleviate traffic on Falmouth Road, the town's east to west connector, connecting State Route 9 (SR 9, Middle Road) with SR 26/ SR 100 (Gray Road). The spur connected interchange 8, a trumpet interchange with the mainline turnpike, with interchange 9, another trumpet at US 1 in Falmouth. (The west end later became exit 9—exit 8 was moved south to the new Westbrook interchange—and the east end became exit 15 on I-95.) The toll booth was just west of US 1, right where the spur now crosses over I-295. [9] [10] The part of US 1 that it connected to had been built c. 1948 as a realignment (old US 1 is SR 88), and the spur connected the turnpike, which headed inland at Portland, with US 1, a major route to and beyond Brunswick via the shore. [11]

When the Interstate Highway System was designed in the 1940s and 1950s, the main route along the east coast, numbered I-95 in 1957, was assigned to the route via Brunswick to Augusta. Thus the Falmouth Spur became I-95, and the turnpike was unnumbered between the spur and Gardiner. Around 1960, the piece of I-95 (now I-295) north of the spur was completed, and a partial interchange was added at its crossing with the spur. [11] The toll booth was moved west at that time.[ citation needed]

The turnpike stayed unnumbered between Falmouth and Gardiner until around 1988, when it was added to the Interstate System as I-495. [12] This allowed it to have a speed limit higher than the National Maximum Speed Limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), as per the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987.[ citation needed]

In 2002, the Maine Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) submitted a proposal to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) to relocate I-95 along I-495 and extend I-295 along I-95 to Gardiner, leaving the Falmouth Spur unnumbered. This was approved by AASHTO on November 5, 2002, with one change—the Falmouth Spur was assigned the I-495 designation. [1] The Maine DOT and Maine Turnpike Authority decided not to sign or publicize I-495 to minimize confusion; [5] maps of the changes distributed to the public included the remark "existing I-95 becomes a ramp" or just "Falmouth Spur" pointing to the spur. Signs were changed from January 5 to 10, 2004. [2] [7] A prominent sign was posted near the New Hampshire state line informing travelers of the change, and that the information center had new maps. [4]

Exit list

The entire route is in Cumberland County. [13]All exits are unnumbered.

Location [13]mi [13]kmDestinationsNotes
Portland0.000.00 I‑95 ( Maine Turnpike) – Boston, AugustaExit 52 on Maine Turnpike
Falmouth2.794.49Falmouth toll barrier
4.046.50 US 1 north – YarmouthEastbound left exit and westbound left entrance; formerly Exits 15A (US 1 south) and 15B (US 1 north)
4.106.60 US 1 south to I‑295 south – Falmouth, Portland
4.367.02 I‑295 north – Freeport, Brunswick
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (November 5, 2002). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Maine Department of Transportation. "Interstate I-95 Redesignation & Re-numbering Information". Maine Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on February 22, 2006.
  3. ^ OpenStreetMap and Contributors. "Overview Map of Interstate 495 in Maine" (Map). MapQuest. AOL. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Interstate 495 Maine". Interstate Guide. Retrieved October 5, 2014.[ self-published source]
  5. ^ a b "All Along the Interstate, New Exit Strategies". Portland Press Herald. February 23, 2003. Archived from the original on September 12, 2005.
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration (October 31, 2002). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration.
  7. ^ a b Maine Department of Transportation (2004). "Maine Interstate Redesignation" (PDF).
  8. ^ Maine Turnpike Authority. "History of the Maine Turnpike Authority". Maine Turnpike Authority. Archived from the original on January 15, 2006.
  9. ^ United States Geological Survey (1957). Portland quadrangle (Map). 1:62,500. 15 Minute Series. Reston, VA: United States Geological Survey – via University of New Hampshire Dimond Library Documents Department & Data Center.
  10. ^ United States Geological Survey (1957). Casco Bay quadrangle (Map). 1:62,500. 15 Minute Series. Reston, VA: United States Geological Survey – via University of New Hampshire Dimond Library Documents Department & Data Center.
  11. ^ a b National Bridge Inventory[ full citation needed]
  12. ^ "I-495 Maine". Kurumi. Retrieved October 5, 2014.[ self-published source]
  13. ^ a b "MaineDOT Public Map Viewer". Maine Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 8, 2017.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata