A long-term construction project in Portland is going to cause the closure of Baxter Boulevard to vehicle traffic for 16 months, so you might as well just pretend that road doesn't exist.

A multi-million dollar project to stop sewage overflow into Back Cove began in late 2019 and is being done in two phases. The first called the Back Cove South Storage Facility Project caused closures of major highway ramps off I-295 through Portland as a giant storage tank was placed in the ground. The second phase is the Back Cove West Storage Conduit project which will link up with the tank and keep the overflow from pouring into Back Cove. Nobody wants that, but it comes with a bit of headache if you regularly travel on Baxter Boulevard.

Baxter Boulevard runs along the western side of Back Cove and it too has been a bit of a mess ever since the storage tank project began. Parts of the Boulevard have been closed at different times while construction was ongoing, but now there are some long closures that are about to happen.

According to the Portland Press Herald, starting on September 7, Baxter Boulevard will be closed from Payson Park from Bates Street to Dartmouth Street and will stay closed until December of 2022. That's 16 months from the day this story was written.

Google Maps
Google Maps

So yeah. Judging by that map, there's pretty much no reason to drive on Baxter Boulevard until 2023, unless you plan on going to Payson Park via Bates Street to the Boulevard. The good news is if you walk, run or bike Back Cove Trail along the Boulevard, you can still do that and won't need a hard hat.

When does this whole project wrap up? They're shooting for October of 2023 to have everything done and streets reconstructed. Over two years and counting, but at least when it's all done, no more dirty water in the cove. Portland, you're our home. Not Boston.

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