The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public that the National Weather Service is forecasting snowfall to spread from west to east across the Commonwealth beginning late this afternoon and into Thursday morning with accumulations of several inches in some areas. The forecast is for dry weather by Thursday afternoon.
“Everyone traveling should monitor the forecast and expect to travel at slower speeds when the snow is falling,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We advise people to drive the conditions during the storm which means keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles and allowing for plenty of time to slow down, and reducing speeds when making turns or traveling on highway on and off ramps.”
MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the Commonwealth as conditions necessitate. Highway Districts always conduct preparation activities in advance of new weather systems and are able to pretreat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride when necessary. In the most severe 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 lane miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth.
This winter, MassDOT has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations and this includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.
For the most up-to-date information on transportation impacts, please follow on Twitter: @MassDOT @MBTA @MBTA_CR, and @MassRMV.
If drivers 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 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.