Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
The Maine Turnpike, the first "superhighway" in New England and the first such highway in the United States built without state or federal tax dollars, opened to traffic. The Maine Turnpike Authority was created by the Maine Legislature in 1941 to connect Kittery and Fort Kent. In 1947, the first section of highway, designated the Maine Turnpike, opened between Kittery and Portland. In 1953, the Turnpike Authority began construction on an extension to the state capital at Augusta using the former right-of-way of the Portland–Lewiston Interurban railway from Portland through Falmouth. When the first section opened in 1947, it was only the second superhighway in the United States following the October 1940 opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. For these reasons, the Maine Turnpike was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999. In 1956, one year after the Portland-Augusta extension opened, Congress created the Interstate Highway System. The remaining sections to be built—from Augusta to Fort Kent—would be publicly funded freeways instead of toll roads under the Maine Turnpike Authority. Today this highway, which ends at Houlton instead of Fort Kent, is signed as Interstate 95 throughout and the Maine Turnpike between the New Hampshire line at Kittery and the junction with US 202 near Augusta. The former head of the Maine Turnpike Authority served 19 months in prison for stealing as much as $230,000 from the toll revenue generated by the Maine Turnpike Authority for his personal use from 2003 to 2010. The segment of Interstate 95 from Kittery to Augusta runs along the Maine Turnpike. This is a toll road for all of its length except for sections near Kittery and Lewiston. Flat-fee tolls are paid upon entering the turnpike. There are also barrier tolls in York, New Gloucester, and West Gardiner. Drivers using exits 44 and 52 must also pay a toll upon exiting. The turnpike joined the E-ZPass electronic toll collection network in 2005, replacing the former Maine-only system designated Transpass that was implemented in 1997. The tollbooths on the Maine Turnpike were not supposed to be permanent. Toll collections were to stop once the Maine Turnpike Authority paid off the debt from the road's construction. In the 1980s the bonds were going to be paid off but the Maine Legislature authorized the Maine Turnpike Authority in 1982 to continue as a quasi-governmental agency and to continue to collect tolls in order to fund the maintenance of the section of highway controlled by the MTA.
Maine Turnpike - 1950s