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zakim-bridge-traffic-november-2016MassDOT is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for travel and use caution during the expected weather event Friday continuing into Saturday.

“Our personnel are closely monitoring the forecast and we know this is expected to be a high impact and long duration coastal storm with the possibility of flooding and strong winds,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We encourage members of the public to make safe and smart decisions such as not driving through flood waters, never driving over or near downed power lines, and reducing speeds when there is low visibility due to heavy rain and snow.”

MassDOT personnel will be coordinating with state and local partners throughout the duration of the storm and responding as conditions necessitate. For example, in coastal and low elevation areas, crews may be deployed to reports of flooding and implement lane or road closures and detours as needed. As there is a potential for snow in inland areas, MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed and treating the roadways.  Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the storm and will activate snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment as needed.

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 season, MassDOT has had approximately 4,200 pieces of state and vendor equipment available and has used more than 150 depots and storage locations; this has included more than 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 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 equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote their 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 driving tips include:

  • Do not drive through large puddles as it is difficult to know how deep the water is.
  • Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, lights, hood and roof areas.
  • 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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