Congress Square, where Congress and High streets in Portland intersect is about to undergo a major redesign that will improve the flow of traffic, but cause delays during construction.

The intersection is where the Portland Museum of Art and News Center Maine's studios are located. It's a busy intersection with a lot of vehicle and pedestrian traffic as well as a slip lane to Free Street that allows cars to enter Free Street without actually going through the intersection.

The Congress Square Redesign Project has been in the works since 2015 by the city of Portland and will make Congress Square safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

According to the City of Portland website, the redesign "will improve safety for all users by reducing vehicle speeds entering Free Street, shortening pedestrian crossings, and improving signal timing. The project also creates additional public space and replaces failing signal equipment at the intersection."

Here's a look at what Congress Square looks like from above on Google Maps.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Compare that to what it will look like after the redesign.

PortlandMaine.gov
PortlandMaine.gov
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You can see that a rounded curb is planned in front of the Portland Museum of Art that will guide drivers out into the intersection and take the place of the current slip lane. Drivers turning onto Free Street will now have to wait at the light to enter Free Street, a big change that will take some getting used to.

Construction begins on Monday, April 18 and there will be delays if you are traveling through the square. You may want to find an alternate route.

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