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winter-storm-plows-february-8-2013MassDOT is cautioning the public to be prepared and plan ahead for expected winter weather conditions Wednesday and continuing into Thursday morning. Snowfall could combine with strong winds to reduce visibility and create difficult traveling conditions.

“We are hoping that travelers will look at where they plan to go and check the forecast for that particular area as driving could be hazardous at various times,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “There will be heavy snowfall in some areas and the timing of the storm will differ from region to region. We encourage members of the public to monitor the weather, plan ahead if they will be traveling and plan extra time to reach destinations whether they are in a vehicle or using mass transit.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the storm as conditions necessitate. Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the winter weather and will be pretreating roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride. MassDOT is also currently planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment.

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, 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 the most up-to-date information on transportation impacts, please follow on Twitter @MBTA, @MBTA_CR, @MassDOT, and @MassRMV.

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.
  • 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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