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winter-traffic-natick-december-5-2016MassDOT is continuing its snow and ice removal operations throughout Saturday evening and into the overnight hours and is continuing to remind members of the public to minimize travel if possible, exercise safe driving behavior, and make safe and informed decisions before heading out onto the roadways.

As of 5 p.m., MassDOT had deployed 1,653 pieces of snow fighting equipment on Commonwealth roadways across the state including snowplows and spreaders and is continuing to clear and treat the roadways. As temperatures continue to drop during the next several hours, MassDOT anticipates deploying additional pieces of equipment, especially in higher elevations where wet roadway surfaces could potentially ice over.

“MassDOT snow and ice operations have gone very well since crews began treating some roadways at approximately four o’clock this morning,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Since this morning, we have deployed more than 1,600 pieces of equipment state-wide and crews have been able to keep up with the storm. Because pavement temperatures were warm for most of the day and because the storm is occurring on a weekend, crews have had plenty of room to work on the roads.  Our advice as this storm continues is for drivers to continue to keep speeds down, drive the conditions and ‘Don’t Crowd the Plow.’”

In the worst storms this season, MassDOT’s Highway Division would be able to utilize up to 700 staff members to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lanes miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This snow and ice season, MassDOT will have approximately 4,200 pieces of state and vendor equipment available using over 150 depots and storage locations. This includes over 1,300 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.

If drivers must go out on the roadways, they are advised to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote full attention to what is ahead on the road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down.

Please review more information on safe winter driving.

 

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