Labor Day Weekend Travel Tips from MassDOT

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to plan ahead for Labor Day Weekend travel, drive in off peak hours if possible, utilize available technology tools for trips including, consider public transportation if possible to reach destinations and bring a face-covering as some municipalities have a mask mandate for indoor venues. “We expect traffic levels to be high this Labor Day Weekend especially during the afternoon hours on Thursday and Friday,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Anyone driving should plan ahead, anticipate that trips will take longer than expected, and if possible use public transportation to reach destinations.”

Due to the anticipated higher than normal daily traffic volumes for several days leading up to and including Monday, Labor Day, MassDOT is taking several steps to ease congestion:

Shutting down scheduled non-emergency construction effective at 5 a.m., Friday, September 3. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of normal business hours on Tuesday, September 7. Deploying the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy earlier than usual in the afternoon by opening at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday, September 2 and at 1:00 p.m., on Friday, September 3. The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, September 6.

State Repairing Bridge on Mt. Auburn St., Will Impact Traffic on Several Sundays

MassDOT announced upcoming roadwork on Mt. Auburn Street at the intersection with Belmont Street, just east of Greg’s Restaurant in Cambridge, and near the Mount Auburn Cemetery. MassDOT provided the following announcement:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be conducting concrete deck, joint, and asphalt wearing surface repairs on Mount Auburn Street over the bicycle path at the Belmont Street intersection in Cambridge. The repairs will take five consecutive Sunday shifts, starting Sunday, July 25, and will have travel impacts on those Sundays and into the early morning hours of the following Mondays. Starting Sunday, July 25, at 2:00 a.m. and until 2:00 a.m. on Monday, July 26, only a single traffic lane will be open in each direction on Mt.

Registry Giving Grace Period for Inspection Renewals After Computer System Problems

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

Due to the nationwide system outage of motor vehicle inspection services by its vendor Applus Technologies (Applus) impacting inspection stations and motor vehicle owners, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is allowing a grace period for specific motor vehicle inspection requirements outlined below. The RMV is working in close partnership with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA), the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and other stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of the outage. The RMV continues to urge Applus to safely and swiftly restore services and provide additional information on the extent of the outage’s impact, which began on Tuesday, March 30. The three-phase process required to return the MA Vehicle Check program to full service that is secure and safe has been in progress. These phases are 1) Remediation (completed), 2) Restoration and System Testing (current phase), and 3) Go-Live and Post- Go-Live Support. The restoration phase, which is the current phase, involves a deliberate and methodical resetting of Applus Technologies’ IT environment and will take some time to restore the safety and emissions stations to testing capabilities fully.

MassDOT Grant Funds Watertown Bluebike Station, Other Improvements

A Bluebike station in Watertown Square was paid for by a state grant. Watertown received a grant from the Mass. Department of Transportation to build a Bluebike station in Watertown Square and make other road and sidewalk improvements. The $280,218 grant was part of the third round of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program. The bike share station is next to the entrance to the Charles River Path in Watertown Square.

RMV Closing Early Due to Storm, MassDOT Encourages People to Avoid Roads

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public against traveling as the National Weather Service is forecasting heavy snow rates per hour in the early afternoon today, Monday, February 1. Snowfall rates may exceed one inch per hour on Monday afternoon and Monday night. The very strong winds will lead to blowing snow and greatly reduced visibility during the height of the storm. “We urge the public to take this storm seriously because driving conditions will be difficult, with heavy snow falling at a fast rate and gusty winds expected,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “During the storm, we are advising the public to stay home and don’t drive if you don’t have to.” 

“We are encouraging those workers who have the ability to work remotely to do so tomorrow,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “If you do have to be on the roads we urge you to plan ahead and to be off the roadways by mid-day. We expect roadways to become snow covered and slippery in the afternoon and through the evening with limited visibility and high winds as the storm progresses.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the Commonwealth as conditions necessitate. Highway Districts continually conduct preparation activities in advance of new weather systems and are able to pretreat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride when necessary.

MassDOT Holiday Travel Tips, Post-Travel Quarantine Reminder

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season, utilize the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions, and be aware there may be limited public amenities on trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, travelers should pack essential items including face coverings, and, if visiting specific states, travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Massachusetts. “As per the CDC’s strong recommendation, we are asking people not to travel during these next few weeks of the holiday season because of Covid-19,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, adding, “But if you must be on the roadway, you are advised to plan ahead, minimize stops, be aware of all out-of-state quarantine requirements, wear a face covering if you are traveling with someone not living in your household, and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.”

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has information about the pandemic and regulations pertaining to COVID-19, including the need to quarantine for 14 days when returning to Massachusetts after visiting specific states. Information can be found at: The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will extend its hours to be open from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, December 22, and from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, December 23.

MassDOT Seeks Input on Redevelopment of Railroad, Mass. Pike in Allston

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that an information matrix is now posted online that compares available information about key aspects of the alternatives under consideration for the “throat” area of the Allston Multimodal Project: The purpose of the Matrix is to provide additional information to help inform public and agency input on the choice of a Preferred Alternative by MassDOT from among the three Throat Options. This Matrix, which represents MassDOT’s working assumptions on various impacts of the throat options, is a draft by MassDOT and is subject to change after consideration by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Cooperating Agencies. 

The “throat” is the area of the Charles River waterfront where I-90, Soldiers Field Road, freight train tracks, the Paul Dudley White pedestrian and bicycle path, and two commuter rail tracks squeeze through a choke point which is 204 feet wide and is the narrowest section of the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. MassDOT has opened a round of public engagement and is accepting feedback on how the three throat options compare against both the project purpose and need and the selection criteria.  MassDOT will host a public information meeting on Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30 p.m.  Community members may join the meeting by going to the following link:  The public may also join the meeting by phone: 877-853-5257 (toll free), Webinar ID: 965 1293 2141, Passcode: 710477.  The MassDOT project team will present the new alternative analysis matrix to the public at this meeting and will be available to answer questions. Public comment is being taken until the end of the day on October 30 and can be sent to:

State Discussing Renumbering of Highway Exits at Virtual Meeting

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing an upcoming virtual Public Information Meeting for MassDOT’s Statewide Exit Renumbering Project on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This project is converting all existing exit numbers on freeways to a milepost-based numbering system, per Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements. The public meeting will cover information about the project, the construction schedule, and the project team will be there to answer questions. The meeting link is available through registration at this site. Construction is scheduled to begin on this project in mid-October of this year and is anticipated to end in the Summer of 2021.