The new St. Croix River border crossing between Calais. Maine and the St. Stephen area of New Brunswick has now opened.  Travelers will no longer have to go through St. Stephen or Calais traffic to go across.

The crossing is located about 2 miles southwest (that is, in the direction of Bangor) from the old main crossing in downtown Calais, and less than a half-mile from the lesser-known Calais-Milltown bridge.  Coming from northern Maine, from Bangor, or along ME-191, the new crossing is the first one you'll come to.  You go around a traffic rotary and follow the signs left.

New Brunswick has built a new freeway leading directly to it.  In past, signs for NB-1 drew travelers into downtown St. Stephen congestion, often with long lines of cars snaking past local businesses and choking traffic.  Now, the new four-lane freeway by-passes St. Stephen completely, carrying everyone to the new bridge unless you take an exit to go into the town. 

Crossing from New Brunswick, you'll come out west of Calais.  That is, if your plans are taking you to Bangor, you're already headed in the right direction.  If you need to go into downtown Calais for something, you must double back, or perhaps exit the freeway in New Brunswick and take an older crossing.  Note that there are nearby gas stations in either direction, both toward Bangor and back into downtown Calais.

Anyone taking US-1 south toward Eastport will probably steer through downtown Calais.  If you're coming through New Brunswick in the direction of Machias or Acadia National Park, you may want to look carefully at your map of Maine for a shortcut, one that's now even more convenient thanks to the new bridge.  ME-191 is a more direct route from Calais than US-1 for Machias and points west along the Maine coast.  It's 57 miles from Calais to Machias along US-1, but just 41 miles if you take ME-191. Route 191 is an excellent paved road, in at least as good condition as US-1.