Thanksgiving Week Travel Tips from MassDOT

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is encouraging members of the public to plan ahead for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period by recognizing that traffic volumes and the number of travelers on public transportation will be higher than normal. Drivers and transit customers should use the appropriate resources to make informed decisions on route and timing of travel, and check public transportation service schedules. “Thanksgiving is an incredibly busy time for travel, whether on the roads, in the skies, or on public transit,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The get-away rush will be starting Tuesday and we encourage everyone to think ahead, have a plan and exercise patience with each other.”

The MassDOT Highway Division is taking several steps to ensure safe and efficient travel on roadways, shutting down scheduled construction activities effective at 5 a.m., Tuesday, November 21. Scheduled construction will resume at 5 a.m., Monday, December 2. “The top priority during the Thanksgiving travel period is safety,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Before heading out, travelers should evaluate weather conditions so smart decisions can be made about when to leave and return from trips. We want everyone to safely arrive at their destinations to be able to celebrate the holiday with their family and friends.”

MassDOT strongly urges all drivers to minimize distractions by turning off or putting away cellphones, traveling the posted speed limit, driving sober and devoting full attention to what is ahead on the road. MassDOT encourages travelers to make an extra effort to be courteous on the roads and report to law enforcement any reckless driving.

Some Registry of Motor Vehicles Services Closed Over Veterans Day Weekend

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing that due to its final upgrade to new technology, ATLAS, no customer service transactions can be conducted starting tonight at 6 p.m., and until 7 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12.  In addition, inspection station locations will not be able to conduct motor vehicle inspections on Nov. 9, 10, and 11. “We appreciate the public’s patience, cooperation, and understanding as the RMV completes its transition to a new platform that will greatly enhance the quality and number of online vehicle transactions available to our customers,” explained the RMV’s Acting Registrar, Jamey Tesler. “This transition began with the introduction of new customer credentialing and licensing service in March 2018 and, as with any major organization-wide technology change, we expect an initial learning curve for our staff, business partners, and customers.

Labor Day Travel Tips for Drivers, MBTA & More

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising Labor Day travelers to make informed decisions, utilize all the available technology tools including, and consider public transportation if possible to reach destinations. MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure reliable travel for members of the public who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down construction outside of fixed work zones for the Labor Day travel period effective at 5 a.m., Friday, August 30. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of normal business hours on Tuesday, September 3. “We know there typically are higher volumes on some state highways during Labor Day weekend, and we advise everyone to make smart decisions before getting behind the wheel and heading to their holiday travel destinations,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Everyone should utilize the appropriate technology tools and wayfinding resources, consider the best route and time to travel, remain sober or use a designated driver, and exercise safe driving behavior at all times.”

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours this week and open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m., on Thursday, August 29, and 1 p.m., on Friday, August 30.  The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, September 2, and will then re-open for regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, September 3.

Rte. 128 Service Plaza Closed During Paving Project

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the service plaza on Route 128/I-95 southbound in Newton will be closed from 10 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14, through 12 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 15. This short-term impact is necessary in order to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct milling operations in this area. Advanced warning signs will be deployed to notify drivers of the closure of this facility. MassDOT encourages members of the public to plan ahead and utilize alternative service plazas during this period.

Overnight Closures on Mass. Pike Begin Soon

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced that there will be various overnight impacts including lane closures on I-90 east and westbound as well as short-term detours of Commonwealth Avenue east and westbound in the area of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and the Boston University Bridge from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, August 10. These impacts will take place during overnight hours only and will allow crews to safely and effectively conduct scheduled construction operations on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. The impacts will vary depending upon the work being conducted, but in general, the I-90 lane closures will take place from approximately 9 p.m., through 4:30 a.m., and the Commonwealth Avenue detours will take place from 1:30 a.m., to 4:30 a.m.

As always, work is being conducted in ways that minimize impacts on the traveling public and local community. For example, operations are being conducted during overnight hours to prevent travel disruptions. These impacts are associated with the larger bridge replacement project and are necessary to conduct final scheduled construction activities per project plans.

High School Students Can Enter MassDOT Video Contest

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the sixth annual statewide high school video contest, Safe Streets Smart Trips. The contest serves as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote and educate the public about safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors. The contest began five years ago to encouragehigh school students to showcase their understanding of roadway safety across all travel modes to try to decrease pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities. “We are pleased to once again be able to give students the opportunity to create educational videos which underscore messages in the ‘Scan the Streets for Wheels and Feet’ initiative,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The video contest has resulted in very creative ideas during the last few years and we look forward to seeing what teenagers will produce during this year’scontest to make the public more aware of safe behaviors while traveling.”

In summer 2017, MassDOT launched a new statewide campaign to raise awareness about motorists, pedestrians and cyclists safely sharing the Commonwealth’s streets. This initiative reminds travelers to “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet.” The campaign slogan emphasizes the notion that everyone who is traveling on a roadway is responsible for doing their part to ensure safety.

Ted Williams Tunnel to be Closed at Night This Week

The following announcement came from MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, which carries vehicles traveling on I-90, will be closed to all vehicular traffic during overnight hours on most nights next week. These closures will be implemented on evenings between approximately 11:30 p.m., and 5 a.m., and are necessary to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct milling, paving and concrete repair operations. During these overnight closures, vehicles will be detoured to the Sumner Tunnel and trucks will be directed north on Route 1A to the Tobin Bridge. The full dates of these overnights closures are as follows:

•  Evening of Monday, June 3

• Evening of Tuesday, June 4

• Evening of Wednesday June 5

• Evening of Friday, June 7

• Evening of Saturday, June 8

Signage and messaging will be in place to notify drivers of these operations. MassDOT encourages the public to be mindful of potential traffic impacts.

MassDOT Releases Advice for Memorial Day Travelers

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises Memorial Day holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT’s “real time” travel tools to plan trips, and use public transportation if possible to reach destinations. On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, Registry of Motor Vehicle customer service locations and all other Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices are closed. In addition, on Monday, the I-93 HOV lane will not be deployed, all MBTA subway, trolleys, commuter rail and buses will operate on Sunday schedules, and the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program will have extra patrols on state roads. “We traditionally see more vehicles on the roadways throughout Memorial Day weekend, so members of the public should plan their trips in advance and make smart decisions before setting out for their destinations,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  “Anyone who will be driving should consider traveling during off-peak hours, build extra time into their trips, and check MassDOT’s Go Time app or other wayfinding navigational tools to help with decisions on which roads to take and when to travel.”

Per long-standing policy, MassDOT will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction activities on Friday, May 24, at 5 a.m. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of business on Tuesday, May 28. 

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours this week and will extend its afternoon hours on Thursday, May 23, to be open on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday, May 24, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. The HOV lane will not be deployed on Monday, May 27. Normal HOV lane operations will resume on Tuesday, May 28. The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will be open on Thursday, May 23, at 1 p.m. The Swing Lane will also be open throughout the holiday period beginning at 12 p.m., Friday, May 24, until 5 a.m., Tuesday, May 28.