Shoulder on part of I-95 open to traffic part-time in NH and ME

Sign allowing travel on shoulder of part of I-95
New Hampshire Department of Transportation

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation in conjunction with the MaineDOT and the Maine Turnpike Authority, will begin using a new dynamic part-time shoulder use (PTSU) system to help reduce congestion on Interstate 95 in Portsmouth during peak travel periods.

This PTSU system is in place on about three miles of I-95 between Exit 5 in New Hampshire and Exit 3 in Maine and will be used during peak travel periods from May through October, and during unplanned incidents, and as traffic conditions warrant.

Based on real-time travel conditions, technicians at the NH Transportation Systems, Management & Operations (TSMO) in Concord will determine when to allow the right shoulder of the road northbound to be used as an open travel lane while Maine will manage the PTSU southbound.

When the PTSU system is activated, motorists will see the system's messaging devices (beacons and lane-use signals) turn on to indicate when the shoulder is open for travel. There will also be warning signs with flashing beacons at the on-ramps approaching the system to alert merging traffic when the shoulder lane is open for travel and to use extra caution when merging into the highway.

Safety patrols will be increased when the PTSU system is in use.

Traffic Management Center Operators from both states will close the shoulder to traffic when congestion eases or if there’s a motorist in the breakdown lane or if any other emergency situation warrants the closure of the shoulder. Motorists should only use the breakdown lane (shoulder lane), for emergencies and should call 911 for assistance.