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winter-traffic-natick-december-5-2016MassDOT is advising members of the public to plan ahead with winter weather expected on Wednesday and Thursday. The public is encouraged to avoid traveling during the snow if possible, take public transportation, and make safe and smart decisions throughout the duration of the storm.

“This storm will bring heavy snowfall to areas across the state throughout Wednesday and into Thursday, which could create hazardous travel conditions, especially for the Wednesday evening commute when the snowfall may be at its heaviest,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We advise members of the public to stay off the roads if possible, consider working from home or postponing travel plans, and taking public transit if they must travel during this storm. Those who are out on the roadways should give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, travel at reduced speeds, and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed 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.

At Boston Logan Airport, travelers should monitor www.massport.com for updated airline and airport information. The Massport website allows travelers to check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from smartphones or tablets. Massport also encourages travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport for the most updated flight status and travel information.

If drivers must go out on the roadways, they are advised to drive the conditions, lower their speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow,” meaning that motorists should stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers 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 motor vehicle windows, lights, tailpipe area, hood and roof before driving.
  • 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.
  • 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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