There Are Tunnels Below All The New Toll Plazas Along The Maine Turnpike
Over the course of the last several years, the Maine Turnpike has worked hard to modernize the traveling experience for motorists who are looking to eliminate the stop and start that often comes with toll roads. Toll plazas in Gray, York, Augusta and Portland have all been rebuilt, offering high-speed lanes that require no stopping to pay a toll if you're armed with an E-Z Pass. But what about the toll collectors that still collect money from those without an E-Z Pass? How do they get from booth to booth? Playing a real-life game of Frogger?
Shared on Twitter by Maine Turnpike, the answer comes in the form of elaborate and modern tunnels. At all the new toll plazas in Maine, there is an administration building on one side of the highway. Toll collectors who are operating on the other side of the highway now use one of these tunnels to safely get from their booth back to the administration building. Additionally, the tunnels allow technical repairs to take place at these toll plazas with less disruption to traffic flow.
The Maine Turnpike has a history with tunnels underneath the highway. When the Kennebunk service plaza was introduced in the 1940's, there was a pedestrian tunnel built below the highway so that hungry travelers could access the Howard Johnson restaurant on the opposite side of the highway. Eventually, food options existed on both sides of the highway and the pedestrian tunnel was closed off.
If you've ever wondered why the toll plaza projects take significant time to complete, you now know why. It's not just the high speed lanes and EZ Pass technology that needs to be installed, it's also an underground tunnel.