LEWISTON – The Lewiston service plaza at mile 83 in the southbound lane of the Maine Turnpike was permanently closed Tuesday morning. The plaza in Litchfield, northbound at mile 96, will close Monday.

The Turnpike’s new service plaza, located in West Gardiner, is scheduled to open on Monday, Nov. 17.

Parking lots at the Lewiston and Litchfield facilities will remain open for drivers who need to take a break, and portable toilets will be available until the West Gardiner facility opens. There will be no food or fuel services available in Lewiston and Litchfield.

The Lewiston and Litchfield service plazas opened in 1955 and were renovated in 1985. According to Maine Turnpike officials, they are no longer practical or appealing to today’s travelers and have not been producing enough revenue to justify their continued existence.

Turnpike authorities said the new facility will provide a wider variety of options for food, including a new Burger King, Quizno’s, Starbucks Coffee and Hersey’s Ice Cream. The plaza will also feature a Maine crafts shop, and space for Maine tourism promotion. Proceeds will be used for Turnpike maintenance and repair, with this and other new service plazas expected to generate an average of $7 million per year in concession rental revenue over the next 30 years.

The new plaza will be located on Route 126 in West Gardiner, just south of where I-195 and the Maine Turnpike merge, making it easy to access from both highways. When it opens, bio-diesel will be available as an alternative to regular diesel.

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