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img_0056MassDOT is continuing ice and snow operations and at 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, had nearly 3,400 pieces of equipment deployed in Massachusetts in ice and snow operations.  Driving continues to be challenging with fallen utility wires and tree debris on roads, winds blowing snow onto paved surfaces that have been cleared and snow continuing to fall in some areas.   The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy snow to end in the state by 10 p.m. and for light snow, snow squalls and snow showers to continue in various areas overnight and throughout the day on Wednesday.

“We have just about finished getting through the first blizzard of 2018 and are preparing for tomorrow’s commute,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “We are urging the public to plan ahead for Wednesday, build more time into their commutes, check transit schedules for Wednesday, think about the challenge of navigating out of their driveway and through intersections or waiting for a bus, train, ferry or subway, and plan accordingly.”

“Even if the snow has stopped falling in your neighborhood, the weather is still a challenge,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Some roads still have only one lane of travel open.  Heavy wet snow will continue to bring down trees and power lines and anyone who must drive will have to be vigilant for obstacles on the road.  We hope to gain ground overnight as the heavy snow stops falling, pushing snow further off the side of roads in some areas, and get pavement to the wet and black condition which is always our goal.  In addition, light snow and snow squalls on Wednesday mean that driving conditions will remain challenging in some areas.”

Due to the heavy snowfall rate per hour today, blizzard-like conditions and poor visibility, Massachusetts State Police instituted a speed restriction for I-90 with restrictions also on tandems and special permit vehicles, and for a period of time the speed restriction was 20 m.p.h. between Boston and the New York border.  As of 8 p.m., tonight, the I-90 speed restriction was 40 m.p.h. between Boston and New York.

Law enforcement officers during the last few hours continued to respond to incidents, including, a fallen tree blocking Route 125 in Wilmington, utility wires down on Route 105 in Rochester and a fallen tree on Route 6 in Sandwich.

Due to the weather, the I-93 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) lane between Boston and Quincy was closed today and is anticipated to be closed at least during the morning on Wednesday.  In addition, there will likely be no use allowed of the active breakdown travel  lanes on Wednesday on those highways where breakdown lane travel is permitted during peak travel times.  Members of the public should monitor the news or follow @MassDOT on Twitter for the latest information on the status of the HOV lane and breakdown lanes.

Massport expects a limited schedule on Wednesday as airlines bring their aircraft back to Logan Airport. Passengers are urged to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle service locations, which were closed due to Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices being closed today, will reopen for business on Wednesday.  Customers may always visit to perform more than two dozen transactions, to learn of wait times at service locations and to determine the hours of operation at locations.

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will continue to be deployed tonight and Wednesday as conditions necessitate. Crews will plow and treat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride as appropriate to specific situations.

In the worst storms, MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lanes miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This winter, 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 tonight, 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, 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.

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