If you use Maine Turnpike exit 44 in Scarborough that connects to I-295, you may want to find an alternate route for a while. Construction begins today to rebuild the toll plaza to allow drivers to pay their tolls with EZ-Pass at highway speed.

Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2019, the new plaza will be similar to the open toll road plazas in New Gloucester, Gardiner and the soon to open plaza on the Falmouth spur. It allows drivers with EZ-Pass to continue to travel the speed limit and pay their toll electronically while still providing lanes for cash paying customers.

Over the two years of construction, the Maine Turnpike is suggesting if you are traveling beyond Portland on I-295, it might be quicker to use exit 52, the Falmouth Spur, to connect during busy construction times.

These open toll roads are becoming more mainstream across the country. Massachusetts has eliminated toll booths altogether opting for electronic tolling with EZ-Pass only. If driver's don't have an EZ-Pass, they are billed by mail with into captured from the car's license plate. A 2014 study concluded that this toll taking method wasn't feasible here in Maine.

All this construction of new open road toll plazas may be wasted money though, if tolls on the Maine Turnpike are eliminated as Governor LePage would like to see happen.

One last tip for you when using any of these open toll road plazas. Remember, don't slow down and definitely do not stop. Although the Falmouth and Scarbrough plaza open toll road speed limits will be 50mph, you can pass through at 70mph in New Gloucester and Gardiner.