BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises the public that weather forecasters are calling for a winter weather event on Saturday that could bring between 3 and 6 inches of snow to much of Massachusetts and approximately 8 inches of snow to select locations.
Snowfall is expected to develop during the Saturday morning hours and continue throughout the day and into the evening. The storm is then predicted to taper off throughout the overnight hours.
The public is advised to minimize travel if at all possible, consider public transportation if they are traveling throughout Saturday, and make informed and safe decisions before heading out onto the roadways.
“The weather forecast is calling for snow to begin on Saturday morning, mix with sleet or rain throughout the day, and continue in the evening hours, decreasing visibility and braking time,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, in a media advisory. “Our greatest priority is ensuring the safety of the traveling public and we encourage everyone to make smart, informed decisions if they must head out onto the roadways on Saturday, drive the conditions, and exercise safe driving behavior.”
MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be activated.
Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the winter weather. For example, crews will be pretreating the roadways at locations throughout the Commonwealth with brine and Magnesium Chloride, and planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment. MassDOT’s Highway Division utilizes up to 700 staff members to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lanes miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth.
This snow and ice season, 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.
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,” and 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.
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.