Saco Toll Plaza
The Saco Toll Plaza is a toll plaza located at Interchange 36 on the Maine Turnpike, which is the junction of Interstate 95 and Interstate 195 (I-95 Saco Connector/Saco Industrial Parkway). I-195 is a mere 5 miles long, and ends in downtown Saco at ME-9, about 2 miles from ME-5 and Old Orchard Beach.
Like many ramp toll plazas south of Portland, the Saco Toll Plaza charges a toll upon entering either direction. Exiting from either direction is free. This is because upon entering, motorists will not encounter a mainline toll plaza for over 10 miles in either direction, and some of the interchanges in between are toll-free upon exiting. Therefore, by requiring all drivers to pay a toll upon entering, issues of “Shunpiking” - deliberately avoiding toll roads, can be prevented.
Originally this interchange was tolled both entering and exiting, but the outbound tolls were removed in 2001 due to the fact that EZ-PASS, then known as FastLane, was still uncommon and considered a luxury item, and therefore the outbound tolls would tend to get backed up during peak beach travel times and other tourist times, sometimes causing backups onto I-95 itself. A gantry is now visible where the outbound toll plaza used to be, but it does not function as a fare collection device and therefore outbound traffic can pass through toll-free.